THE arrival at Old Trafford of Teddy Sheringham from Tottenham Hotspur a few weeks ago is unlikely to have caused quite the buzz that will be generated by the imminent signing of Brazilian international Celio Silva. This is despite the fact that Sheringham is an England regular, that he is at the peak of his powers, and that he is a forward - there is usually more of a stampede for the obligatory, official jersey from the Manchester United shop if it involves a new striker or attacking midfielder than, as in the South American's case, a defender. Not that the tall, 31-year-old Sheringham should mind. For he hardly fits the bill of flamboyant, single-minded striker; Sheringham, by contrast, is a manager's dream in terms of his unselfishness and commitment to the team ethic. It is these qualities that helped persuade Alex Ferguson to part with GBP3.5 million for his services; he would probably have had to shell out more had his target not been just on the wrong side of 30, and it would surprise very few if he turns out to be one of the manager's shrewdest, most cost-efficient acquisitions. A model professional, Sheringham boasts more intelligence than many in his profession, is unlikely to injure himself going for a Paul Gascoigne-like rash tackle, and should give Ferguson fewer disciplinary headaches than the likes of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt by steering clear of referees' card-wielding wrath. In much the same way former Celtic hit-man Brian McClair has been pulled further back on the park from an outright striker's position with advancing age, there is widespread expectation at Old Trafford that Sheringham will fill an Eric Cantona-type role, just behind a frontline pairing. He operates just behind Alan Shearer, who is more of a lone ranger, for England, and it will not have escaped Ferguson's eyes that the 'SAS' strikeforce has become one of the most feared on the world stage, especially since their telepathic linking at the European Championship last year and subsequent World Cup qualifying-stage exploits. In Manchester United's title-winning side last season, Cantona worked in a slipstream provided by one of several strike partnerships fielded by Ferguson; if it wasn't Andy Cole-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it was Solskjaer-Paul Scholes or Scholes and Cole. Whether Sheringham's contract includes 'small print' guaranteeing an outright striker's berth is unclear, but it is more likely that, with speed not his strongest point, he is happy to experiment with slightly altered duties that could appreciably lengthen his sell-by date. Apart from being a 'provider' par excellence, Sheringham is a free-kick specialist, although he may find it hard to monopolise this role with a certain David Beckham right in the dead-ball equation. And his strike-rate since turning professional with Millwall in 1984 - Sheringham is a Londoner, born in the city's north-eastern Walthamstow area - suggests he should not be under-estimated as a factor on the Premier League's leading scorers chart. He netted 93 times in 220 appearances for the Lions (a club record - yet to be eclipsed - for most league goals for the club), 14 times in 42 games for Nottingham Forest, and averaged just about a goal every other game in his years at White Hart Lane. So, a has-been heads for Old Trafford? Hardly . . . just as Sheringham 'arrived' for England only last year, his best years in the Premier League may be only just beginning.