Manchester United have remained quite active in the transfer market since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. This year, United have made some good signings, whereas before, many players flopped after joining the club. We are looking at Manchester United’s worst signings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Manchester United’s worst signings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired
The Columbian striker joined the Reds in Louis van Gaal’s first year at United, where he had scored 28 goals in La Liga just two seasons prior to joining when at Atletico Madrid, but he had suffered an ACL injury while at AS Monaco. Although it was only a loan move many United fans were desperate for the club to get him on a full deal after the loan at the beginning of the campaign – he seemed to be a fan favourite before even kicking a ball.
Radamel Falcao did not reach expectations though. He only scored four goals in the Premier League, playing 26 games. He would always put in his all for the team, but it was clear that was not enough. He did not succeed at Chelsea the following year either. Falcao was a player that the fans were desperately wanting to succeed, but unfortunately, he was not the same player after his injury at Monaco. This doesn’t change the fact he was one of Manchester United’s worst signings since 2013.
The right-back joined Manchester United from Torino in Italy. Louis van Gaal believed that the then 25-year-old could be the right-back at Old Trafford for years to come. He was a solid defensive outfit.
However, after van Gaal left, Darmian was slowly frozen out of the side, with Jose Mourinho preferring Antonio Valencia or Ashley Young in the position. Darmian’s attacking abilities were limited and he made few appearances in his last two seasons at United.
He was a complete professional and never complained about the lack of game time, but simply was not good enough for the top level.
Another Louis van Gaal signing, Morgan Schneiderlin was expected to come in and be a solid box to box midfielder, who would also help the side defensively. Part of the most anticipated ‘Schmidfield’ with Bastian Schweinsteiger. However, the Frenchman did not live up to expectation.
Although it was a good start to his Manchester United career, only losing one game in his first ten starts, with United keeping seven clean sheets as well in these games. But, the Frenchman had much to be desired in his midfield play, not offering the Reds enough. He only scored one goal and registered no assists in his first Premier League campaign. This led to Schneiderlin falling out of favour in the side.
After Jose Mourinho became manager, it was clear that the former Southampton man was not in his plans, only making three appearances in the league with a combined 11 minutes played. He then departed for Everton in January 2017. He certainly didn’t work out at Old Trafford.
The other half of ‘Schmidfield’, Bastian Schweinsteiger made a surprise transfer to United in 2015 after 17 years at Bayern Munich. He was 30-years-old, but fans believed he could still have an important role in the football that van Gaal wanted to play.
However, injuries stopped the German from being heavily involved in his first season. He was unable to make an appearance in his second season where he ultimately left in March 2017 for the MLS club Chicago Fire.
It was clear that Schweinsteiger had joined the Reds on the decline. With his large wage packet – it was a poor signing. It was a signing which was based purely on the name of the player, which usually doesn’t work out.
The Dutchman didn’t bring this form to Manchester though. He would only score two goals in the Premier League in his opening season with the Reds. Depay was unable to make any real impact on the side.
Similar to Schneiderlin, Depay had little involvement in the following season until his departure in January to Ligue 1 side, Lyon. He made four appearances in the League, playing only 20 minutes.
He has since gone on to showcase his talent which he didn’t really display while in Manchester. Although he was not a success at United, it’s a shame he was not given time to adapt to the league. Fred is a great example that a player can change their fortune in their second season if given a chance.
The Barcelona legend Victor Valdes was a surprising signing for Manchester United when he joined in January 2015. He previously had a pre-agreement to sign for AS Monaco, but the French side pulled out of the deal after Valdes tore his ACL in March 2014. United offered Valdes a chance to rehabilitate and play for the Reds.
However, Valdes only ever made two appearances for the first team. With his high wages, it was a poor move to sign the Spaniard to only be sat on the bench. He would go on loan the following January to Standard Liege, and then officially left the club for Middlesbrough in the next summer window. He will certainly not be remembered for his time at Old Trafford.
Marcos Rojo joined the Reds in 2014 and has had troubling injuries throughout his United career. The Argentine had had extremely positive periods at United though – he was heavily involved throughout the 23 game unbeaten streak throughout the 2016/17 season, where he started 18 of the 23 games and sparked a partnership with Phil Jones.
It seemed like a turning point in Rojo’s United career. However, he ruptured his crucial ligaments in April 2017, keeping him out of action until late November. He has still made 122 appearances for the Reds, but he has missed a staggering 93 games due to injury.
Although Rojo has shown he can be a good defender, his injury troubles have made his time at United a struggle.
Angel Di Maria was believed to be the signing that would take Manchester United back to the top.
The Argentine was immediately given the famous number 7 shirt and had been one of the best players in the world the previous season. Di Maria had 18 assists in 34 La Liga games in 2013/14 and joined United in the following summer.
He started well, scoring three goals in the opening five league games. However, he was unable to score in 22 further games, despite the former Real Madrid man was not known for his goalscoring. For the record signing for the club, the lack of goals was still disappointing. But Di Maria did not have a disaster season as he still managed to get 11 assists in the league.
Di Maria was a direct player who was playing in a passive, possession-based system under van Gaal. This limited his impact through the season and why the manager preferred the more well-disciplined Ashley Young.
If Di Maria had stayed in England, he would’ve most likely been a great signing. He only played one season after coming to United as their highest ever transfer at £59 million. This is why he has been classed as a disappointing signing, even if he did not perform poorly.
When Alexis Sanchez made the move from Arsenal to United in January 2018, many thought it would be a similar situation to when Robin van Persie made the same move in the summer of 2012. Sanchez had been one of the Premier League’s best players. He scored 24 and assisted 11 goals in the previous season with the Gunners.
Once he joined United though, Sanchez was a shadow of his former self. He scored three goals for United in a season and a half in the Premier League. He has since been loaned out to Inter Milan, where he has been injured for the majority of his time there.
His huge wages are also a reason that Sanchez was a poor signing for United. He earned in excess of £350,000 per week, this has led to problems in United signing players from outside the club and also extending contracts from players inside such as Ander Herrera. The signing of Sanchez truly ruined the wage structure at the club. This has made the former Barcelona man one of Manchester United’s worst signings of recent years.