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Five of Manchester United’s most disastrous signings of the post Ferguson era

After a dynasty of success under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United were expected to undergo a period of transition once the legendary manager left Old Trafford.

Since the Scot’s departure in 2013 however, the club have rarely looked capable of matching the Premier League’s elite and a series of poor recruitment decisions has played a massive role in their struggles.


David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all taken charge in the six years since Ferguson’s retirement, with mixed success to say the least.

Here are the five of the most disastrous signings of the post Ferguson-era…

Angel Di Maria

Signed for £59.7m from Real Madrid, 26/08/2014

Following the disappointment of David Moyes’ brief tenure, Manchester United attacked the transfer market in the summer of 2014 as they looked to return to the top.

Now under Louis Van Goal, United splashed a British transfer-record £59.7m to sign Argentine Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid as their marquee signing of the summer window.

Despite obvious talent, the winger proved an expensive mistake. He started brightly, before fading horribly with a terrible run of form towards the end of the season.

Having failed to settle in Manchester, Di Maria demanded a move and was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £44m the following summer.

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Memphis Depay

Signed for £31m from PSV Eindhoven, 12/06/2015

A bright young thing handed the coveted number 7 shirt at Old Trafford, Dutch winger Memphis was supposed to follow in the footsteps of the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Signed by Van Gaal before being dropped by his countryman, he failed to find a way into the first-team under Jose Mourinho and was promptly sold by the Portuguese manager just six months into his Old Trafford reign.

18 months as a United player saw Memphis score just seven goals in all competitions, a poor return for a £31m signing.

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Morgan Schneiderlin

Signed for £25m from Southampton, 13/07/2015

Another Van Gaal signing promptly shifted out by Mourinho, Schneiderlin was signed to bring tenacity and bite to the United midfield.

Part of an exciting Southampton side, the Frenchman failed to replicate his previous form and soon found himself out of his depth at Old Trafford.

His second season saw him fall out-of-favour and he made just three league appearances until his January departure.

After just 18 months at the club he was sold to Everton, having never really impressed in Manchester.

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Alexis Sanchez

Signed in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Arsenal, 22/01/2018

After United beat rivals Manchester City to the signing of Arsenal star Sanchez in January 2018, it was seen as a major coup.

The Chilean forward had established himself as one of the Premier League’s leading lights during his time in North London, and arrived in a straight swap for the unwanted Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Sanchez’s spell at Old Trafford has however been nothing short of disastrous. The forward has failed to replicate his previous form, looking a shadow of the player he once was.

The Premier League’s highest-paid player, his reported £500,000-a-week wages are also said to have unsettled other members of the United squad, whilst he has managed a paltry three league goals in 18 months since signing.

His future remains unclear, however, it is unlikely to be in Manchester much longer.

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Signed in a £52m deal from Shakhtar Donetsk, 21/06/2018

One year after Fred’s big-money move to Old Trafford, many are still wondering what exactly the midfielder does?

He is neither disciplined enough to be a holding player, nor possesses the passing range to be a playmaker.

Many players have taken time to settle to the demands of the Premier League, so perhaps judgement can wait a little longer for the Brazil international who made just 13 league starts.

At a cost of £52m, he so far looks like an expensive mistake based on his disappointing debut season in English football.

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