One thing that cannot be said about Manchester United is that they don’t back their managers in the transfer market.
In the decade since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, the club have spent £1.5 billion on 60 new signings across five different permanent managers. And they have won precisely zero Premier League titles in that time.
Erik ten Hag is no exception, with £410.9 million (including potential add-ons) being spent on new players since the Dutchman took charge last summer. In just one year he has almost caught up the total transfer spends under Jose Mourinho (£430m) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (£441m).
We’ve taken a look at each of Man United’s permanent signings over that period and assess their impact so far.
Every Ten Hag signing at Man Utd after £410m transfer spend:
Tyrell Malacia – Feyenoord, £14.7m
Signed as a backup to Luke Shaw after Man United finally realised they bought a dud in Alex Telles, Tyrell Malacia made 14 starts in the Premier League last season. A useful squad player, the 24-year-old was the first of Ten Hag’s Eredivisie influx at Old Trafford. The Dutch international hasn’t featured this season due to a knee issue.
Christian Eriksen – Free transfer
An Ajax alumnus, Christian Eriksen joined Man United last summer as a free agent after impressing for Brentford last season, following his recovery from a cardiac arrest that kept him out of the game for eight months. In his first season the Dane proved a savvy signing, but this term he has shown visible signs of decline.
Lisandro Martinez – Ajax, £56.7m
Man United fans quickly fell in love with ‘The Butcher’, who played under Ten Hag at the Johan Cruyff Arena, after he proved to the doubters that you don’t need to be 6ft3 to be a centre-back. The Red Devils are dearly missing Lisandro Martinez this season, however, after the World Cup-winner required surgery on an ankle injury. He’s not expected back until January.
Casemiro – Real Madrid, £70m
Last summer United finally signed the midfielder for which their team had been crying out for years when Casemiro joined for Real Madrid. Despite impressing in his first season, concerns were raised over the size of the transfer fee paid for a player in his thirties – and those concerns have come home to roost, with the Brazilian looking off the pace this term.
— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) February 27, 2023
Antony – Ajax, £86m
After losing their opening two games last season, Man United hit the panic button and spent an obscene amount of money on Antony, a one-footed winger with an attitude and little end product who Ten Hag knew very well from Ajax. He’s had just six goal involvements in the Premier League since. The 23-year-old has also been accused of sexual assault, adding to the circus surrounding the club this year.
Mason Mount – Chelsea, £60m
There’s a chance that Mason Mount becomes the next Juan Mata. Both men were highly popular players among Chelsea fans after winning the Champions League and performing excellently in their first few seasons, before joining Man United in the aftermath of a troubled campaign.
Mount wasn’t given the cold shoulder at the Bridge quite like Jose Mourinho did to Mata, but his performance level dropped off quite a bit. And much like the Spaniard, he’s been played slightly out of position and we aren’t seeing the best of him.
Mata did provide some special moments for United, and win a few trophies along the way – supporters will be hoping they get at least that much out of Mount in the coming years.
Andre Onana – Inter Milan, £47.2m
After letting David De Gea go, Man United really needed a goalkeeper with pedigree and an ability to play the ball on the deck. They seemingly got just that when they signed Andre Onana from Inter, fresh from playing in the Champions League final. But the Cameroonian has endured a rough couple of months since joining in the summer.
The 27-year-old – who, shockingly, played under Ten Hag at Ajax – earned some redemption when he saved a last-minute penalty against Copenhagen to ensure victory in October. Fans will hope it kick starts his career at the club.
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 24, 2023
Rasmus Hojlund – Atalanta, £72m
Man United have spent so much money over the past decade, yet routinely have problem areas that don’t seem to get fixed for years and years, striker being one of them. Rasmus Hojlund was signed as a solution to that issue, although he is yet to score in the Premier League. Still, he has shown a lot of promise and is seen as a long-term project after arriving for a hefty fee.
Altay Bayındır – Fenerbahce, £4.3m
After helping Fenerbahce to back-to-back second-place finishes in the Turkish Super Lig, Altay Bayındır joined Man United this past summer as a backup goalkeeper. Weirdly, the 25-year-old has ended up with the number one jersey instead of Onana.
Jonny Evans – Free transfer
Following the expiration of his contract at Leicester City, Man United made the sentimental decision to re-sign Jonny Evans eight years after he left Old Trafford. It made sense to bolster the squad’s defensive numbers, but injuries to Martinez and Raphael Varane mean he has played more minutes than they would have liked this early in the season.
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