Every Manchester United signing rated since Sir Alex Ferguson retired

Struggled to convince Van Gaal yet United's prime word of football subservient the Dutchman came with Herrera in the aspect in that bouncy caper of 2015.
2020-03-21 07:34:02
Every Manchester United signing rated since Sir Alex Ferguson retired

Man United have broken, club, British, and world transfer records over the last seven years and here is how the 31 signings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired rated.

Although stigmatised by the incompetence of David Moyes and that amateurish 2013 summer window, Fellaini was a decent player for and gained the trust of every full-time manager he played under. Scored in three semi-finals en route to final victories and started the 2016 and 2017 finals. Pivotal in United's best performance at in the last 20 years. 6

Will be fondly remembered for his 'Juanfield' brace and derby winner. Enjoyed vibrant spells under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho but has struggled to establish himself as a first-teamer since Van Gaal was sacked. Started in all three triumphant post-Ferguson finals and was worth retaining last summer. United have had a good return for £37.1m. 7

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Struggled to convince Van Gaal yet United's best spell of football under the Dutchman came with Herrera in the side in that sprightly spring of 2015. Successfully converted into a defensive-minded midfielder by Mourinho and became the first outfield player to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award since Robin van Persie in 2017. Was indispensable during Solskjaer’s caretaker reign but things turned sour over his early commitment to Paris Saint-Germain. 7

Deemed 'unfit' in his first season, he began his second superbly only for it to be cruelly ended by Hector Moreno's brutal tackle. He and Mourinho rubbed against each other like sandpaper at times but their working relationship eventually improved and Shaw secured his United career last season. Started all 11 matches of the unbeaten run and arguably playing the best football of his career. 6

That Van Gaal signed him on the back of a World Cup was ominous. Rojo had a good five-month spell in Mourinho's first season that was halted by an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Other than that, he has almost always been poor and somehow never been sent off. United have tried to sell him in four out of five summers. 2

Arrived a world-class player and left a world-class coward. He was mismanaged but - as Van Gaal said last year - Di Maria did not convince in any of the attacking roles he played in and left the intensity of the Premier League for the Ligue 1 monopoly. It started so auspiciously with an enterprising home debut against Queens Park Rangers and that dink over Kasper Schmeichel. 2

There was retrospective appreciation for Blind amid Ajax's resurgence yet whenever he had a run he usually performed. Blind was an impressive stop-gap at centre-back after Van Gaal failed to sign Sergio Ramos in 2015 and Blind enjoyed a fruitful spell at left-back during the six-game league streak in March and April of 2015. His first season with Mourinho was bookended by brilliant form at centre half, though he was never a Mourinho-type defender. 6

Only the modern United could send on Di Maria and Falcao when 2-0 up against 10-man Liverpool and jeopardise victory. Falcao scored four times from 17 starts and 12 substitute appearances and was shot-shy against Yeovil, Cambridge and Preston. Clearly had not got over his knee injury and was a shadow of the spectacular striker at Atletico Madrid; as he showed in Monaco’s title-winning 2016-17 campaign. 1

Made one substitute appearance and one start at Hull, where he pulled off a couple of super stops. Then he volubly questioned Van Gaal's training methods in front of teammates and was transfer listed. 1

The curse of the number seven continued with Depay. He appeared to be a sensible signing: young, team-focused, coveted by Liverpool and PSG, and familiar with Van Gaal’s methods. The trouble was Depay was a winger who was built like a James Bond henchman. His standout displays were against Club Brugge and Midtjylland and Van Gaal became so impatient he dropped him from the 2016 FA Cup final squad. Depay never recovered and lasted six months under Mourinho. 3

After Nathaniel Clyne was dissuaded from working with Van Gaal, United turned to the Italian. Darmian started well in a secure United defence but as soon as Shaw suffered a broken leg in Eindhoven the balance was upset and Darmian never properly recovered. Mourinho came to depend on him at left-back during United's nine-game streak in 2016-17 and Darmian's zenith was the Europa League final against Ajax. Stayed a year too long before his summer switch to Parma. 4

A crowdpleasing addition at the time, Schneiderlin was found out at United in Van Gaal's rigid and risk-aversive system. His reputation was initially enhanced by Van Gaal not starting him in crucial games but once Schneiderlin got in he never convinced. Senior figures at United specifically named the £25m Schneiderlin as a recruit who lacked the required 'X-factor' to succeed at the club. 3

"When people see Schweinsteiger on the teamsheet, that's gonna send some shivers down the spine," Ed Woodward vowed. Schweinsteiger was ridiculously popular with fans due to an esteemed reputation carved out at Bayern Munich but at United he was overwhelmed by the Premier League pace and beset by knee problems. Annoyed teammates by spending his rehabilitation jet-setting around the world to watch his wife play tennis and was bombed out of the squad and into the reserves by Mourinho. 2

Proof you should not judge a player by his World Cup appearances. As backhanded a compliment as it is, Romero is probably the best number two in world football. Rarely lets United down whenever he has to come in for David de Gea and kept dependably during United's successful Europa League campaign. Made some key saves in the FA Cup this season and is one of the best post-Ferguson additions. 8

Gained a cult following on the back of a tabloid headline and his Scousebusting debut goal. Martial enjoyed a terrific debut season for a rookie but domestic issues compromised his focus under Mourinho and then he had his nose put out of joint by the Alexis Sanchez deal. His best spell of form at United came while negotiations over a long-term contract were taking place. Shouldered responsibility recently up front and has a world-class ceiling. 6

Not the Mourinho signing United fans were expecting but Bailly bucked the trend in that he was a newly-signed United centre half who actually enjoyed a brilliant start to his Old Trafford career. Unfortunately, Bailly is about as durable as Louis Saha and he missed the first six months of the current campaign. 5

A great player with a great chant, Ibrahimovic is inaccurate when he says he 'conquered' English football and he was guilty of profligacy in the umpteen draws of 2016-17. Yet in a season he turned 35 he still scored 28 times before his United career was effectively ended by an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Mourinho sentimentally offered Ibrahimovic another year that consisted of seven sorry appearances before he headed for the Los Angeles sunshine. 8

The Europa League specialist did not specialise at Premier League football at United. Mkhitaryan was prolific in the Europa League run but was flaky in domestic football and his stat-padding could not mask the feeling he just was not up to it in Mourinho's United. He lasted 18 months and, in hindsight, looks like a Mino Raiola sweetener ensured to get Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. 4

He got a hashtag, a transfer trailer and danced with Stormzy. Pogba was a marquee and marketable addition for United and they have got a substantial return on the latter. As for the football side, he has not cut the mustard often enough, despite some world-class spells of form in each of his three campaigns back at the club. Pogba dances to his agent's tune and has barely played this season due to injury. 5

Lindelof was maybe the most un-Mourinho defender since Khalid Boulahrouz and looked it in his forlorn first season. Unfortunate not to receive the player of the year award last season and, despite regressing this term, has kept his first-team status. 6

Atletico's transfer ban deprived United of Antoine Griezmann and left them with Lukaku, Alvaro Morata or Andrea Belotti. United made the right choice in the short-term but have had little long-term gain from Lukaku, who under-scored in his first season with 27 goals, having tallied 11 by the end of September. He is 12 down on his count this time last season and is still too bulky to go to the next level. Cost United numerous points with his impotence in the first half of the current campaign. 5

Matic quickly silenced the Fabinho fanatics in his first months at United. Then he had to nurse an abdomen injury that hampered his form for the rest of his first season. Has struggled to hit the heights of his start at United but shone at the start of Solskjaer’s caretaker reign and, since January, has been a key cog in United’s resurgence. Deserved to have his contract extended. 6

United should consider retiring the number seven shirt after Sanchez wore it. His United career amounts to two true highlights: The Manchester derby comeback at City and the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham. United are desperate to sell him permanently. 1

Has shown flickers of promise in a fitful two years and United did well to identify Dalot as a relatively frugal investment. He has been too injury-prone to ever put pressure on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is in a different league when it comes to right-backs. 4

Fred desperately needed to convince in his second season and has. There were some encouraging signs last season in Paris and the first leg against Barcelona, and this season Fred has established himself as a United-class midfielder, drawing effusive praise from Pep Guardiola and turning it on against all-comers. 7

Grant, 37, has made one substitute appearance and one start. Impossible to rate but is popular with De Gea and Romero. N/A

James’s overall fee could still come in under United’s then-club record £19m for Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2001. Going off the fee, James would have had to be abysmal to be deemed a flop and in his first four months he exceeded expectations. The Welshman’s form drastically dipped but has picked up of late. James has started home and away against Liverpool, twice against Chelsea and in three of the four derbies. 7

There are fewer qualms about Wan-Bissaka now he is developing into an attack-minded right-back. Defensively, he has been near faultless and defensive greats have described him as the best one-v-one defender in world football. Wan-Bissaka has started to become more adventurous and the two assists he has provided were arguably better than the finishes. 8

Was always going to improve United after their worst top-flight defensive season in 40 years. Maguire’s standout performance remains his debut but in recent weeks he has mimicked Nemanja Vidic with a towering header against Chelsea and an impregnable performance at Goodison Park. No United signing has been made captain quicker since World War II. 7

At the time of writing, Fernandes has to be the best signing United have made in the last seven years. He has lifted the club figuratively and literally; United have risen in the table and look(ed?) well poised to attain Champions League qualification through a top four finish. Scored three and assisted four goals in nine and his demanding nature has not irked deferential teammates. 9

Five substitute appearances, three starts, and four goals. United’s deal-makers may now wish they had insisted on an option to buy Ighalo, which admittedly would have seemed ridiculous at the time. Has shown he is more than just a Twitter trending topic with his goal-getting and Ighalo does not struggle for chances. Allowed Solskjaer to rest Anthony Martial, too. 8

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