Manchester United's 25 most expensive signings: Ranking them out of 10

  • Rob Swan

Manchester United have spent more money than most clubs during the Premier League era.

They would regularly splash the cash on talented young footballers from Europe and the best Premier League players during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time.

And since Ferguson left United in 2013, an extraordinary amount of money has been wasted on players who were the wrong fit for the club.

We thought we’d take a look at United’s 25 most expensive players ever and grade them from 0-10 based on their overall contribution during their time at Old Trafford.

All the fees have been provided courtesy of Transfermarkt.

25. Ruud van Nistelrooy | £25.6m

One of the best strikers United have ever had, Van Nistelrooy only misses out on a 10 because United only won one Premier League title, an FA Cup and the League Cup during the Dutchman’s five seasons as a Red Devil.

The prolific forward bagged 150 goals in 219 games for United between 2001 and 2006.

Rating: 9/10

24. Robin van Persie | £27.6m

Van Persie justified his transfer fee by almost single-handedly winning the Premier League title for United during Ferguson’s final season at Old Trafford.

It’s just a pity that United only got one great season out of Van Persie, who struggled to produce his best form under David Moyes and, more surprisingly, Louis van Gaal.

Rating: 8.5/10

23. Anderson | £28.3m

Fergie had a soft spot for Anderson, who arrived at Old Trafford from FC Porto with a huge reputation in 2007.

But the Brazilian midfielder struggled with form and fitness over the next eight seasons.

He did, however, leave United with four Premier League titles and a Champions League winners’ medal.

Rating: 4/10

22. Marouane Fellaini | £29.1m

Fellaini was never a Manchester United player, but that wasn’t his fault.

The Belgian midfielder always gave his all and left Old Trafford having scored 22 goals in 177 games.

He also won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League. Not a bad little haul, that.

Rating: 4.5/10

21. Memphis Depay | £30.6m

Memphis had a swagger about him that made fans believe he could become a superstar for the club.

United handed him their famous No. 7 shirt but, ultimately, he flopped spectacularly.

Seven goals in 53 games was a poor return from a player who promised so much but delivered so little.

Rating: 2.5/10

20. Alexis Sanchez | £30.6m

Quite possibly Man Utd’s worst ever signing.

He arrived on a ‘free transfer’ from Arsenal but the £30.6m takes into account the fact that Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved in the opposite direction.

Sanchez was world-class at Barcelona and Arsenal but completely hopeless at Old Trafford, where he netted a paltry five goals in 45 games.

Rating: 0/10

19. Victor Lindelof | £31.5m

The Swedish defender endured a shaky start to his United career but has recovered and established himself as one of the club’s first-choice centre-backs.

Rating: 7/10

18. Morgan Schneiderlin | £31.5m

“I wanted to do more and I had the capacity to do more,” Schneiderlin said this week about his disappointing spell at Old Trafford.

United fans thought the Frenchman, who excelled at Southampton, was the missing piece in the jigsaw – but, for whatever reason, he failed to cut it with the Premier League giants.

Rating: 2.5/10

17. Ander Herrera | £32.4m

Overrated a little by some United fans who were desperate for him to stay last season, Herrera was a decent player for the Red Devils and at least played with some passion – which was more than could be said for some of his former teammates.

Rating: 7.5/10

16. Wayne Rooney | £33.3m

Man Utd’s all-time leading goalscorer and one of the club’s greatest ever players.

Rooney will always occupy a special place in the heart of every United supporter.

Rating: 10/10

15. Luke Shaw | £33.7m

It genuinely felt like Man Utd had signed their next left-back for the next 10-15 years when Shaw arrived from Southampton in 2014.

But injuries and poor form mean the 24-year-old has unfortunately flattered to deceive.

Rating: 3/10

14. Eric Bailly | £34.2m

Another player who has struggled with injuries during his time at Old Trafford, Bailly has often performed well for United when fit.

The Ivory Coast international has only managed to play 74 times for United since he arrived in June 2016.

Rating: 5/10

13. Dimitar Berbatov | £34.2m

An incredibly classy operator, Berbatov produced some memorable moments in a United shirt, including scoring a hat-trick against Liverpool and netting five goals in a 7-1 win over Blackburn.

The Bulgarian scored 56 goals in 149 games and left with two Premier League winners’ medals.

Rating: 7.5/10

12. Henrikh Mkhitaryan | £37.8m

Man Utd fans thought they’d signed a top player when Mkhitaryan, who’d just scored 23 goals in all competitions from Borussia Dortmund, arrived at Old Trafford.

The Armenian scored 11 in his first season with United but his confidence was shot to pieces by the time he left the club.

He could – and should – have performed much better for the Red Devils.

Rating: 4/10

11. Juan Sebastian Veron | £38.3m

Veron wasn’t as bad for United as some people make out.

The Argentine midfielder produced some incredible moments, particularly in the Champions League, and also won the Premier League Player of the Month award in his first month in England.

He joined the club at the wrong time – simple as that. Breaking into a legendary midfield consisting of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs was always going to be difficult.

In terms of pure talent, he was right up there among the best midfielders United have had.

Rating: 6/10

10. Nemanja Matic | £40.2m

Matic was decent when he first arrived but it’s often painful watching the 31-year-old now.

His best days are behind him.

Rating: 3/10

9. Juan Mata | £40.2m

United fans never got to see the Chelsea version of Juan Mata, who was sensational, but the Spanish midfielder has still been a fine player for the Red Devils.

The 31-year-old, who conducts himself with the utmost professionalism on and off the pitch, has scored 45 goals in 229 games.

Rating: 7/10

8. Rio Ferdinand | £41.4m

One of the best defenders Man Utd have ever had, Rio spent 12 years at United and won a host of major honours during that time, including six league titles and the Champions League.

Rating: 10/10

7. Aaron Wan-Bissaka | £49.5m

It’s still too early to rate Wan-Bissaka but we’re giving the right-back a 7/10 because he’s made a brilliant start to his United career.

The 21-year-old should be United’s right-sided full-back for many years to come.

Rating: 7/10

6. Fred | £53.1m

Fred has been woeful for United overall so far, but the Brazilian midfielder still has time to turn things around.

There have been a few signs that there’s a player there somewhere but he needs to start producing the goods more often.

Rating: 1.5/10

5. Anthony Martial | £54m

Is Martial a genuinely top-class talent or actually a bit overrated? In truth, it’s still difficult to tell.

The Frenchman has scored 51 goals in 179 games for United but it’s hard not to feel that he could be so much better – if only he wanted it more.

Rating: 7/10

4. Angel Di Maria | £67.5m

Man Utd should have brought so much more out of Di Maria, who is currently playing like one of the world’s best players against at PSG.

The Argentine showed glimpses of brilliance at Old Trafford but struggled to produce his best form under Van Gaal.

Rating: 2/10

3. Romelu Lukaku | £76.2m

Lukaku didn’t do badly at United, scoring 42 goals in 96 games, but the Belgian striker was awful in a lot of games.

He was offloaded to Inter in the summer and has scored five goals in 10 games for the Serie A outfit.

Rating: 6/10

2. Harry Maguire | £78.3m

If Wan-Bissaka gets a 7/10, then it’s only fair that Maguire does too.

The early signs have been very promising from the England international, who has already captained the Red Devils.

Rating: 7/10

1. Paul Pogba | £94.5m

Could he have done better in a lot of games? Yes. Are some people too harsh on him? Absolutely.

Pogba has scored 31 goals in registered 31 assists in 141 games for United, which isn’t too shabby at all.

He’s easily United’s most talented outfield player and the team would be far worse without him.

The question is: does he want to stay at Old Trafford for much longer?

Rating: 7.5/10

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