web analytics
Man Utd: Ranking every Red Devils signing since Sir Alex Ferguson retired

Man Utd: Ranking every Red Devils signing since Sir Alex Ferguson retired

Manchester United have spent over £1.5billion since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. That’s a lot of money for zero Premier League titles, especially when you consider how many Manchester City have won in that time…

We have ranked all 60 signings made for the first-team post-Ferguson. All transfer fees are taken from Transfermarkt and the numbers in the bracket next to them is where they placed when this list was initially made in April 2022 (by which time there were 45 signings) and again when it was revisited in September 2023…

60) Alexis Sanchez (swap) (45, 60)
The Red Devils signed one of the best players in the Premier League on astronomical wages and he seemed to become an incompetent footballer overnight. Sanchez wanted to go back to Arsenal after his first day at Carrington, which would have suited everyone concerned.

59) Paul Pogba (£94.5m) (38, 53)
Pogba left United for Juventus on a free transfer in 2012, only to be re-signed by the Premier League club for a world-record transfer fee, to then return to Turin on a free transfer in 2022. Showed glimpses of genius, but far too occasional to be remembered as anything other than a massive waster. Jose Mourinho was right about the virus.

58) Angel Di Maria (£67.5m) (43, 59)
Joining off the back of a man-of-the-match performance in a Champions League final, Di Maria flopped at Old Trafford. The only saving grace from his stint in Manchester is that the club recouped £56.7m when he was sold to PSG less than a year after arriving.

57) Jadon Sancho (£76.5m) (5, 56)
The fact he remains on United’s books, therefore there remains a chance he could turn things around, is what keeps Sancho above Di Maria here. For that to happen, though, it seems it will have to be under new management. For the three bosses he’s had so far, Sancho has been a crushing disappointment.

Read more: Innocent Sancho in XI of players axed by Ten Hag after ‘scapegoat’ sticks it to ‘interim’ manager

56) Antony (£80m) (16, 29)
Again, perhaps the Brazilian will come good. But that prospect is stretching even our boundless optimism. One day, we’ll learn why United paid so much, beyond sheer incompetence.

55) Memphis Depay (£30.6m) (39, 54)
Wearing the No. 7 shirt has become something of a curse since Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2009; even for the Portuguese himself when he returned.

Depay came in as a terrific youngster from the Netherlands and took on the famous number. The forward scored seven goals in 53 games and left for Lyon for a little over half of what United paid for him. Didn’t always help himself.

54) Donny van de Beek (£35m) (36, 41)
Signed seemingly because United thought Real Madrid were about to buy him and Ed Woodward was on an ego trip. It was clear Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t want him, and nor did his subsequent United managers.

53) Andy Kellett (loan) (44, 58)
Who? Exactly. Shouldn’t really count since he wasn’t signed with the first team in mind but Kellett has gone down in folklore as one of those WTF? deals.

52) Radamel Falcao (£6.8m loan fee) (42, 57)
Another player who joined with a huge reputation; Falcao failed to rediscover his Porto and Atletico Madrid form during his spell with United and then Chelsea.

51) Anthony Martial (£54m) (12, 24)
Martial joined as the most expensive teenager in world football, scored a wonderful goal on his debut and was being compared to Thierry Henry. Which seemed to be enough for him. Finally, after nine years, United look set to get rid of the barely-arsed striker.

50) Sofyan Amrabat (£8.5m loan fee) (NE, 23)
Amrabat looked brilliant at the World Cup but United appear to have realised why no other club wanted to take a punt on the Algerian. He’s actually not very good.

49) Andre Onana (£45.2m) (NE, 11)
We’ve tried to be patient with Onana as he acclimatises to the Premier League and factor in that he could give United a new dimension with his passing. But Ederson he is not, and some of the goals he has conceded have been ridiculous. Again, he might settle, like David De Gea, and become a United stalwart. But for that to happen, a huge improvement is required.

48) Mason Mount (£55.4) (NE, 22)
Two-thirds of a season since he signed, we have to keep reminding ourselves that Mount is a United player. Mainly because of injury, but he remains a baffling signing, partly because United already have Bruno Fernandes, but because there were other, far more pressing needs for that money.

47) Guillermo Varela (£2m) (33, 47)
The Uruguayan right-back played four times in the Premier League for United, only amid a massive injury crisis.

46) Morgan Schneiderlin (£31.5m) (37, 52)
Schneiderlin was great for Southampton, so Louis van Gaal brought him to Old Trafford where the Frenchman was nowhere near good enough. He left for £20m, so it’s not all bad. Bloody Everton.

45) Bastian Schweinsteiger (£8m) (35, 51)
Schweinsteiger is a Bayern Munich legend and a forgettable Manchester United midfielder.

44) Martin Dubravka (£2m loan fee) (41, 50)
Signed to sit on the bench which he did very proficiently.

43) Jack Butland (loan) (39, 49)
Sat on the bench so well, he never left it.

42) Odion Ighalo (£10.8m loan fee) (34, 48)
£10m is a lot of money for a loan deal, especially when the player doesn’t really improve a team. He did score a beauty against LASK, at the very least.

Manchester United have a 5-0 lead going into the second leg of their match with LASK 💪

In the first leg, Odion Ighalo did this 🚀 #MUNLASK pic.twitter.com/nwq1ODn5KH

— GOAL (@goal) August 5, 2020

41) Tahith Chong (free) (17, 46)
Having paid no transfer fee for the young Dutch winger, United looked like they did pretty well. He didn’t get much of a chance and was sold to Birmingham City for £1.5m after a successful year on loan. Chong is getting his chance in the Premier League with Luton Town.

40) Romelu Lukaku (£76m) (35, 45)
He scored a decent amount of goals but never seemed to fit, let alone merit a £76m transfer fee.

39) Lee Grant (£1.5m) (31, 44)
Fits the home-grown quota and joined Manchester United for no other reason.

38) Victor Valdes (free) (30, 43)
Both player and club could have done without this move.

Read more: Five Man Utd left-field goalkeeper signings

37) Tom Heaton (free) (29, 42)
See Lee Grant. But Heaton was a free transfer.

36) Timothy Fosu-Mensah (£342k) (28, 40)
Fosu-Mensah was pretty cheap and United turned a profit in the end. He made 30 first-team appearances and was quite useful due to his versatility.

35) Matteo Darmian (£16m) (27, 37)
The Italian was bang average for United and was only sold for £2m.

34) Marcos Rojo (£18m) (25, 36)
Rojo was box office at times but only for being a mad b******. And that was when he wasn’t injured.

33) Eric Bailly (£34m) (22, 35)
Erratic and injury-prone like Rojo, but for nearly double the price.

32) Wout Weghorst (£2.6m loan fee) (23, 34)
Weghorst came in to fill a gap until the end of last season and was signed for peanuts, unlike Ighalo. Even still, it was a weird spell for everyone involved.

31) Hannibal Mejbri (£9m) (18, 32)
Bought from Monaco in 2019, Mejbri spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Birmingham. Threatened to breakthrough this season but was packed off to Sevilla on loan.

30) Dan James (£16m) (24, 39)
James was never good enough for the level Manchester United aspired to and was probably only signed as he was seen as Young and Hungry. The best thing to come from his move is that they turned a profit when they sold him to Leeds United.

29) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£37.8m) (21, 33)
The other half of the worst deal on this list, Mkhitaryan joined with lofty expectations having provided 90 goal contributions in 140 games for Borussia Dortmund.

He scored in a Europa League final victory for United. He also scored a scorpion kick (that would not have counted in the VAR era). But anything good he did for United was eclipsed by the woeful swap deal which saw him go to Arsenal.

Mkhitaryan with an amazing Scorpion Kick goal! Goal of the season? 🔥 pic.twitter.com/zKlridRt3V

— Football Cvlture (@FootballCVLTURE) December 26, 2016

28) Nemanja Matic (£40m) (23, 31)
United signed Matic four years too late.

27) Facundo Pellistri (£7.6m) (20,  30)
Time is on Pellistri’s side, with some at Old Trafford putting a lot of faith in the Uruguay international to come good. Blind faith, perhaps.

26) Alex Telles (£13.5m) (14, 27)
Telles was signed to give Luke Shaw an expensive kick up the arse. Job done.

25) Amad Diallo (£19m) (19, 26)
After a rubbish loan spell with Europa League finalists Rangers, Diallo was being written off by many (myself included). However, his time with Sunderland was superb with the young Ivorian increasing his transfer value and staking a claim for minutes in the Premier League, whether that be for Manchester United or someone else.

24) Marouane Fellaini (£29m) (26, 25)
Fellaini was the first signing post-Ferguson after David Moyes bought him on deadline day for a higher price than the release clause that was active earlier in the window. He made 177 appearances for the Red Devils, which highlights how far a decent attitude can take you.

23) Victor Lindelof (£31.5m) (11, 21)
Another expensive centre-half, Lindelof has done alright. Rarely as first-choice, mind. Useful cover, little more.

22) Tyrell Malacia (£13m) (15, 20)
Signed as competition for Shaw but quickly became back-up. And, for much of the time, he’s been able to do that due to injury.

21) Sergio Romero (free) (8, 19)
As far as back-up goalkeepers go, Romero was pretty good. And he cost sod all, which is always a bonus.

20) Marcel Sabitzer (loan) (21, 18)
And as far as half-season emergency loans go, this was a success. Ten Hag decided against signing Sabitzer on a permanent basis, though.

19) Jonny Evans (free) (NE, 38)
Few saw this one coming, but as a last-resort option, Evans has played more games than he would have expected upon returning to his boyhood club. And he’s generally done well.

18) Daley Blind (£15.7m) (16, 28)
Blind was a handy jack of all trades. Perhaps he was too versatile, but he was consistent if rarely outstanding. Blind played over 140 times in four years at Old Trafford.

17) Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£49.5m) (40, 16)
Wan-Bissaka is arguably Erik ten Hag’s biggest success story at Manchester United. He looked finished at Old Trafford as a right-back who you would pick if needed someone to make a slide tackle to save your life, but the other traits of the position he appeared to lack. Under Ten Hag’s tutelage, though, Wan-Bissaka can now cross the halfway line without the aid of map, compass and comfort blanket.

16) Edinson Cavani (free) (9, 15)
Seventeen goals in 39 games in his first season was a great return from a player signed on a free transfer. He was rewarded with a new contract before United bought Cristiano Ronaldo. Which seemed to put the handsome Uruguayan’s nose out of joint.

15) Juan Mata (£40m) (15, 14)
David Moyes’ second major signing after Fellaini, Mata flew in by chopper after falling out of favour at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. The Spaniard played 285 times for the Red Devils, with game time hard to come from the start of 20/21 up until his departure in June 2022.

14) Fred (£53m) (10, 13)
Fred was viewed for a long time as the epitome of United’s decline: a flop for whom UNited vastly overpaid despite a relative lack of competition. But Fred kept going and established himself as a useful player for Ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick. You would expect more for £53million quid, but United…

13) Harry Maguire (£78.3m) (41, 55)
Often the scapegoat and always mocked, Maguire has received merciless treatment, usually because of his price tag. Ignoring that as much as it is possible, of course the England defender hasn’t been United’s Van Dijk, but he remains a reliable presence and he deserves huge credit for not going under amid some very personal abuse.

12) Raphael Varane (£36m) (7, 12)
Varane is approaching the end of his three-year contract and we’re still not sure how he will be judged when he leaves, probably in the summer. He formed a decent partnership with Lisandro Martinez but we’ve seen woefully little of it because they are both woefully injury-prone. We see glimpses of his undoubted class and he is a quiet leader at the back for United, but the club presumably hoped for more when they lured him from Real Madrid.

11) Ander Herrera (£32m) (6, 10)
Herrera was named Manchester United Fans’ Player of the Season in 2017 after he helped them win the League Cup and Europa League. He played 189 times for the Red Devils and was a fan favourite due to his passion, tireless work rate, and man-marking techniques; just ask Eden Hazard. Some blame the club for the fact he was allowed to leave for nothing; others pin it on greed on Herrera’s part.

10) Cristiano Ronaldo (£13.5m) (4, 9)
That’s not a hug outlay for the most marketable footballer on the planet and he was one of the few good things about United during the dark days of 2021-22. But it turned into the biggest circus in world football and Ten Hag was right to shunt him to Saudi.

9) Rasmus Hojlund (£64.7m) (NE, 17)
Hojlund is coming good, and much of the scepticism around his signing isn’t anything to do with his quality. United needed a top-class centre-forward in addition to one full of potential, like the Denmark international. Since they only signed him, they need to hope he doesn’t break because there is no cover other than Martial. So there is no cover.

8) Diogo Dalot (£19.8m) (13, 8)
Dalot was signed as the best right-back prospect in Europe, according to Jose Mourinho. It was always going to be a tough ask to meet that huge expectation, but he seems finally to be settling in to the United XI. Not that he couldn’t be upgraded quite easily.

7) Christian Eriksen (free) (4, 7)
A lot of us fancied Eriksen to be the bargain of the 22/23 campaign and he has been consistently solid since joining. His story is fantastic and there aren’t many better free transfers out there.

6) Casemiro (£61.5m) (3, 3)
After spending the whole 2022 summer transfer window chasing Frenkie de Jong, United realised that Casemiro was sitting right there willing to slot straight into their midfield. Which he did, brilliantly, for a season. Yet to recapture this term the form and fitness that made that so but there are signs he could dovetail beautifully with Kobbie Mainoo. Still, on that money, it’s the least you would expect.

Alejandro Garnacho scores an overhead kick for Manchester United at Everton

Alejandro Garnacho scores at Everton

5) Alejandro Garnacho (£400k) (10, 6)
That price is a bargain for the potential Garnacho holds. One for the future but also for the present, especially with no other option for the right flank.

4) Lisandro Martinez (£50m) (5, 5)
Martinez is a brilliant footballer who has adapted to Premier League life very quickly despite being written off before stepping foot in Old Trafford. Just. Stay. Fit.

3) Luke Shaw (£33.7m) (3, 4)
He has been criticised for his fitness and defending during his United career, but he is one of few to actually live up to his transfer fee. Again, Shaw has had his fitness problems, but Ten Hag relies on him at left-back and centre-back.

2) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (free) (2, 2)
This is arguably the first signing on this list which was/has been a huge, unqualified success at Old Trafford. It only took dozens of players to get here but here we are.

Zlatan scored 28 goals and provided 10 assists in his only full season, helped the Red Devils win the Europa League and scored a brace in the final of the League Cup as they beat Southampton 3-2 at Wembley. In 2017/18, he struggled for fitness and left for LA Galaxy, for whom he scored 22 goals in 27 games in the same campaign.

1) Bruno Fernandes (£56.7m) (1, 1)
There are people who don’t like Fernandes, which is fair enough. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But there are also those who don’t rate him, and those people should be ignored and shunned by society. It’s hard to imagine the depths United would have plumbed without Fernandes’ creativity and robustness since he signed four years ago.

Read More

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *