Sir Alex Ferguson’s final 25 signings as Manchester United manager - Where are they now?

  • Rob Swan

Everyone knew that Manchester United would probably find it difficult when Sir Alex Ferguson finally decided to call it a day – but the club have fallen further than most would have predicted in the past six years.

The legendary Scottish coach won 38 trophies during his 26-year spell at Old Trafford and was in charge of all things football-related alongside United’s former chief executive David Gill, who left the club at the same time as Ferguson.

To lose one of them would have been bad enough, but to lose both men in the same summer is one of the main reasons why United are in the situation they find themselves in now.

The Red Devils have had four different coaches since 2013 – David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and that could become five in the near future unless results improve.

Ferguson won the Premier League title in his final season and usually – but not always – got it right when it came to signings. But how many of his signings were hits during his final couple of years in charge – and how many flopped? And where are they all now? Let’s take a closer look…

Tomasz Kuszczak

Signed from West Brom in July 2007, Tomasz Kuszczak was a decent goalkeeper who Ferguson initially thought might have the potential to replace the ageing Edwin van der Sar.

However, the signing of David de Gea in 2011 made it clear that Kuszczak was unlikely to become United’s number one ‘keeper and he subsequently left the club for Brighton and Hove Albion in 2012.

The 37-year-old is currently a free agent after ending his four-year spell with Birmingham City in the summer.

Hit or miss: Miss.


United splashed out £22.95 million for Nani and that turned out to be money well spent.

The Portuguese winger was inconsistent but still produced some special moments during his eight years in Manchester – and the fans will always remember him fondly as a result.

Nani went on to play for Fenerbahce, Valencia, Lazio, Sporting Lisbon and now plies his trade for Orlando City. The 32-year-old also won the European Championships with Portugal in 2016.

Hit or miss: Hit.


If he wasn’t such a lovable character, Ferguson probably would have got rid of Anderson long before he retired.

Fergie undoubtedly had a soft spot for the Brazilian midfielder, who was tipped for greatness as a youngster but ultimately failed to fulfil his potential.

Ando still left Old Trafford with a number of winners’ medals – including four Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League – but he should have achieved even more during his career.

He sadly retired earlier this year at the age of 31 following a brief spell with Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Carlos Tevez

Should Ferguson have done more to keep Carlos Tevez at Man Utd in 2009?

The Argentine striker was adored by the Old Trafford faithful but he ended up leaving United for local rivals Man City and was a big hit at the Etihad Stadium.

United fans subsequently lost all respect for Tevez, but most of them would confess that the club made a big mistake letting him go.

The 35-year-old went on to play for Juventus and briefly became the world’s highest-paid footballer after agreeing to join Shanghai Shenhua in 2017. However, he soon left China after feeling homesick and returned to Boca Juniors for a third time in 2018.

Hit or miss: Hit.


Not every Man Utd fan will remember Manucho, who only made a couple of first-team appearances for the Premier League giants following his move from Angolan side Petro Atletico.

It soon became clear that the African striker wasn’t United quality and he was sold to Real Valladolid in 2009.

Manucho, who turned 36 in March, left Spanish club Cornella earlier this year and is currently unattached.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Rodrigo Possebon

United had high hopes for Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Possebon, who caught the eye as a youngster for Internacional.

He played eight times for the Red Devils during the 2008/09 campaign but, unfortunately, was never the same player after suffering a serious injury following a challenge by Emanuel Pogatetz during a League Cup clash against Middlesbrough.

Possebon left United in 2010 and, sadly, his career never amounted to much afterwards. The 30-year-old was last seen at Vietnamese club Ho Chi Minh City in 2018.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Dimitar Berbatov

Back in the day where United could go out and easily buy Tottenham’s best player, Dimitar Berbatov arrived in August 2008 for around £30 million and was a success at Old Trafford.

The classy Bulgarian striker scored 56 goals in 149 games for United, winning two Premier League titles in the process.

He went on play for Fulham, AS Monaco, PAOK and Kerala Blasters before officially announcing his retirement, following a year-and-a-half without a club, in September 2019.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Zoran Tosic

A left-footed winger of considerable quality, Zoran Tosic looked a little too lightweight for Man Utd whenever he played.

Ferguson must have thought the same thing because the Serbian winger was offloaded to CSKA Moscow in 2010, just two years after signing for United.

Tosic has since enjoyed a decent career, scoring 47 goals in 241 games for CSKA before joining Partizan Belgrade in 2017. The 32-year-old also netted 11 goals in 76 games for Serbia between 2007-2016.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Ritchie De Laet

Signed from Stoke City in 2009, Ritchie De Laet was also not up to Manchester United standards.

However, the defender did go on to win a Premier League winners’ medal with Leicester City during the unforgettable 2015/16 season.

The 30-year-old defender is now back where it all started: Royal Antwerp.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia last Man Utd with the best wishes of the club’s supporters in the summer after giving 10 years of excellent service to the Red Devils.

The Ecuador international always worked hard for the shirt – whether he was playing on the right wing or at right-back – and even went on to captain the club under Jose Mourinho.

Valencia, 34, returned to Ecuador a few months ago and plays for L.D.U Quito.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Gabriel Obertan

Some optimistic United fans thought Gabriel Obertan might turn out to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo following his arrival in 2009 – the same summer Ronaldo left Old Trafford for Real Madrid.

However, the French winger was nowhere near good enough for Fergie’s United and he was sold to Newcastle United in 2011.

He did okay with the Magpies and then went on to play for Anzhi Makhachkala, Wigan Athletic, Levski Sofia and Erzurumspor, where the 30-year-old currently calls home.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Mame Biram Diouf

United signed Mame Biram Diouf from Molde after tracking his progress for a couple of years, but the Senegalese striker only ended up playing nine first-team games for the Red Devils, scoring one goal.

The 31-year-old still managed to carve out a decent career for himself in English football and has now been with Stoke City for five years.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez made an immediate impact at Old Trafford, scoring 20 goals in his debut season.

The livewire Mexican striker went on to score 12 and 18 goals over the next two seasons but Ferguson’s departure marked the beginning of the end for Chicharito at United.

David Moyes used him sporadically, while Louis van Gaal was not a fan.

Hernandez went on to play for Real Madrid (on loan), Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham and now plays for Sevilla.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Chris Smalling

Signed for around £10 million from Fulham in 2010, Chris Smalling went on to play 323 games for Man Utd over the next nine years.

For this reason alone, we have to call him a hit.

The defender had good spells and bad spells for United and is currently out on loan with AS Roma.

Hit or miss: Hit.


One of Fergie’s most infamous signings, Man Utd splashed out £8 million on the unknown Bebe from Vitória de Guimarães in 2010.

The one-time Homeless World Cup participant looked like a competition winner at times for United but still managed to score two goals in seven appearances.

In fairness to the Portuguese winger, he has done pretty well since leaving United, playing for the likes of Benfica, Eibar and Rayo Vallecano.

Bebe turned out to be a half-decent player but he’s still remembered as a joke figure by British football fans.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Anders Lindegaard

Lindegaard stepped in on a couple of occasions when David de Gea was struggling during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons and did a perfectly fine job.

He wasn’t quite good enough to become United’s first-choice goalkeeper, however, and was eventually sold to West Brom in 2015.

The 35-year-old went on to play for Preston North End, Burnley, and now plays for Helsingborgs IF in Sweden.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Ashley Young

He isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but Ashley Young still deserves a lot of credit for making 250 appearances (and counting) for Man Utd.

The 34-year-old has always given his all, been happy to play in multiple positions and is now the club’s official captain.

Plenty would say he belongs in the ‘miss’ category, but we think that would be doing him a disservice.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Phil Jones

“Arguably, the way he is looking, he could be Manchester United’s best ever player.”

Ferguson said this about Phil Jones in 2013 and it now looks like one of the worst predictions in football history.

He’s still a Man Utd player – although most fans often ask themselves how – but he’s surely produced too many poor performances down the years to be labelled a ’hit’.

Hit or miss: Miss.

David de Gea

One of the greatest goalkeepers in Man Utd’s history – right up there alongside Peter Schmeichel and Van der Sar – David de Gea has been worth his weight in gold for the Red Devils in recent years.

The Spanish shot-stopper failed to convince during the early years of his United career, but the club have stuck by him and reaped the rewards.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Nick Powell

Some optimistic fans thought Nick Powell, a £6.75 million signing from Crewe Alexandra, was the second coming of Paul Scholes.

But the former England Under-21 international failed to convince Fergie’s successors and was sold to Wigan in 2016.

The 25-year-old joined Championship side Stoke City in the summer.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Shinji Kagawa

A technically-gifted playmaker, Shinji Kagawa struggled to adapt to English football and returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2014 after just two years at Old Trafford.

The Japan international, 30, joined Real Zaragoza in the summer following a brief loan spell with Besiktas earlier this year.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Angelo Henriquez

United signed Angelo Henriquez after he’d scored 15 goals in 27 games for an exciting Universidad de Chile side aged just 18.

They thought they’d signed a future gem, but the Chilean forward failed to play a single first-team game for the English giants.

Now 25, Henriquez is back at Universidad de Chile.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie effectively won the Premier League title in Ferguson’s final season, scoring 26 league goals in 38 games.

It was all downhill for the Dutchman when Ferguson left, however, and he was unceremoniously offloaded to Fenerbahce by Van Gaal – a man he considered a friend prior to 2014 – in the summer of 2015.

Van Persie retired in the summer after two years back at Feyenoord and now works as a pundit for BT Sport.

Hit or miss: Hit.

Alexander Buttner

Alexander Buttner was an average left-back who still managed to win a Premier League winners’ medal in 2013.

He spent a total of two seasons with the Red Devils, playing 28 games, before joining Dynamo Moscow.

Buttner has played for Vitesse since 2017.

Hit or miss: Miss.

Wilfried Zaha

Things probably would have been very different for Wilfried Zaha had Ferguson not decided to retire in 2013.

Fergie’s final signing did not get on well with Moyes, who froze the young winger out of his team for no obvious reason, sending the rumour mill into overdrive.

Zaha returned to Crystal Palace in 2015 and is now widely regarded as one of the best attacking players in the Premier League.

Hit or miss: Miss.

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