Man Utd's signings since 2013 ranked from 'Fergie would be proud' to 'complete disaster'

  • Kobe Tong

Manchester United have been a club of ups and downs since Sir Alex Ferguson departed.

First came the dire season under David Moyes that trundled to a seventh-place finish, then came two years under Louis van Gaal where solid results masked a sleep-inducing style of football.

There was admittedly the 'treble' and brief title challenge under Jose Mourinho, though things came crashing down in the third season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure has been a tale of inconsistency.

And one of the biggest culprits behind these undulations in form, league placements and trophies has been a transfer policy that has earned Ed Woodward no end of criticism from the fans.

For every re-signing of Paul Pogba and recruitment of Zlatan Ibrahmovic, there have been the missteps of Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao and the perpetually anti-United Angel Di Maria.

Post-Ferguson signings at Man Utd

So, in other words, the signings at Old Trafford in the post-Ferguson era are the perfect group for one of our rankings with the popular website Tiermaker.

We've lumped all the buys included in their list and ranked them in the following tiers: Fergie would be proud, great signing, decent, meh, mistake and complete disaster.

There's a player in each of those widely-ranging categories as you can imagine, so keep scrolling for the breakdown and the full diagram to see where United's money has been going.


Complete disaster

Alexis Sanchez

Morgan Schneiderlin

Angel Di Maria

Radamel Falcao

Bothering to explain why Sanchez finds himself in the bottom category would be as pointless as explaining why roadkill isn't the best idea for a meal on a first date. What happened, Alexis?

As for Schneiderlin, this was a disappointing one considering his success at Southampton, but he looked like a fish out of water during 47 games for the club and has hardly improved at Everton.

Di Maria wasn't thaaaaaat bad when you bear in mind his 10 league assists during his solitary season, but the fact United made a loss on him and he constantly moans about the club means 'complete disaster' fits the bill.

And then there's Falcao who, as we recently explored, has the second worst goal-per-game ratio of any United striker since 2000 with a pitiful four strikes from 29 games. 



Matteo Darmian

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

There's not much to say about Darmian other than the fact he wasn't up to the United standard and stewed around at the club as deadwood until last summer. He was a squad player, sure, but still not good enough.

Schweinsteiger is an interesting one and quickly became a fans' favourite at Old Trafford, but it's hard to look at his spell as anything short of a mistake given his wonky form and all the drama with Mourinho.

Again, Mkhitaryan wasn't terrible during his 18 months with United... that doesn't mean he wasn't a disappointment, though, and the fact his exit facilitated Sanchez's arrival makes his legacy even more troublesome. 



Nemanja Matic

Eric Bailly

Marcos Rojo

Diogo Dalot

Odion Ighalo

Memphis Depay

If Matic had maintained the form he showed during the 2017/18 season, there's no way he'd be this low in the rankings, but if you average out all his great performances with the terrible ones, bang in the middle seems about right.

Bailly is a similar story because he's shown himself to be one of United's best defenders in spurts, but reckless moments and repeated injuries means we could only elevate him if were judging him on what he could be like.

As for Rojo... hmm... we're not saying he's as good as players like Matic and Bailly, we just can't really look at his arrival as negatively as a mistake. A sound, albeit slightly crazy, squad member.

Dalot is a hard one to judge because there's no doubt he's got plenty of potential, which we could see in seasons to come, but we've got to level that out with the fact he's showed every little of it.

And as much as some United fans would like to think so, Ighalo is by no means the 'Nigerian R9', although four goals in eight outings means he's done the job expected of him well enough.

Finally, there's an argument that Depay should go down as a 'disaster' or 'mistake', but it's hard to say that with a straight face when you consider his impressive form with Lyon since leaving. Maybe we'll see him back at United one day...



Romelu Lukaku

Luke Shaw

Harry Maguire

Victor Lindelof

Marouane Fellaini

Daley Blind

Daniel James


People who claim Lukaku was a terrible signing just because his first touch was ropey need to gain some perspective and the fact only five United strikers since 2000 have a better goal-per-game ratio than him proves the point.

Shaw is another player whose time at United has been up and down and up and down; it just happens that the ups have been enough to earn him the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

As for Maguire, the jury is still out on the world-record defender seeing as he's been at the club for a matter of months, but the early signs are impressive, particularly in terms of his leadership qualities.

Lindelof is starting to come into his own alongside the Englishman, too, while the duo of James and Fred are exciting recent signings who, despite not being world beaters right now, are on a very positive trajectory.

And whether United fans like to admit it or not, Fellaini was a very handy player for the majority of his time at the club and 22 goals is nothing to be sniffed at from a defensive midfielder.

You can say the same of Blind as well who might have been a jack of all trades and master of none, but always gave you a 7/10 performance no matter where he was played and who it was against.


Great signing 

Paul Pogba

Juan Mata

Ander Herrera

Bruno Fernandes

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Anthony Martial

You know, we nearly knocked Pogba down a tier for how troublesome he's been for the club off the pitch, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to considering he's one of the best midfielders in the world and made last year's PFA Team of the Year.

Over to Mata and while, yes, the Spaniard seems to be past his expiry date sooner than expected, there's no denying that he's been a brilliant servant for the club across 249 games and 48 goals.

Herrera is another underrated gem in this list of United signings, always going under the radar as a destroyer in the midfielder - as well as Eden Hazard's kryptonite - and picked up a Player of the Year award for his efforts.

And yes, yes, yes, we know that Fernandes has only played five Premier League games, but we're so confident he's going to be one of the competition's best players that 'great signing' already feels apt.

We can say the same for Wan-Bissaka, too, who has astonishingly thrust himself amongst United's best players at just 22 years old and as arguably the Premier League's best defensive right-back.

Martial, meanwhile, hasn't become the Ballon d'Or-contending juggernaut that some tipped him to be, but four consecutive seasons of improving his goal tally shows he's on the way to becoming a top 30 player for sure.


Fergie would be proud

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

And here it is, the only signing we can consider to be Ferguson-worthy: the lion himself.

Despite picking up a serious knee injury and playing in a United team that didn't finish in the top four, Ibrahimovic still scored 29 goals in 53 games to become the club's third most lethal striker since 2000. Oh, and he won three trophies, too.


Full graphic


So... what do you think?

We've triggered a lot of United fans, haven't we?

It's certainly hard ranking so many signings when some left years ago and others have barely been at the club six months, but we can pretty confidently use Ibrahimovic and Sanchez as bookends here.

Besides, no matter what you think of the rest of the list, we can all agree here that spending half-a-million every single week on a player who scored three Premier League goals is, yeh, bonkers.

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