Alexis Sanchez, Bebe, Angel Di Maria: Who are Man Utd's worst ever signings?


Manchester United are on the brink of selling their worst signing of the Premier League era.

There’s not a single United fan that will say Alexis Sanchez was a worthy purchase from Arsenal, scoring just five times in 45 games despite pocketing a barely-believable £500,000-a-week wage.

And after 18 months of looking like a shadow of his former self at Old Trafford, the wise decision was taken to send the Chilean winger out on loan and Inter Milan duly threw their hat into the ring.

Sanchez on his way out

Things got off to a tough start for Sanchez in Italy, suffering from injury problems and picking up a red card for diving against Sampdoria despite scoring his first goal minutes beforehand.

However, Sanchez has really pulled his form together at the right moment and recently produced seven assists and three goals in a 10-game period to impress manager Antonio Conte.

As a result, according to Fabrizio Romano, Inter have moved to make the transfer permanent and personal terms have been agreed for Sanchez to wave goodbye to Old Trafford this summer.


United’s worst ever signings

It means that United fans can finally put to bed one of the most embarrassing transfer sagas in their recent history but, then again, it’s hardly the first time that a promising deal hasn’t worked out.

It’s well publicised that Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t get all of his transfer dealings right at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ and there’s been no shortage of clunkers since the great man hung up his hairdryer, too.

And it’s something that got us thinking here at GIVEMESPORT: how does Sanchez shape up with the other candidates for United’s worst signing of the modern era? 

Well, we’ve decided to answer that question by compiling a horror-show XI of the biggest transfer clangers that the Red Devils have ever dropped, so check it out in all its infamy down below:


GK – Massimo Taibi

What. A. Start. It’s actually borderline impressive that Taibi managed to do as much wrong between the sticks for United as he did when you consider he only actually made four appearances.

The ‘Blind Venetian’ woefully conceded at Anfield after flapping at a free-kick, shipped five goals during a meltdown against Chelsea and dropped THAT clanger from Matt Le Tissier’s Old Trafford pea-roller. 


DF – Pat McGibbon

McGibbon earned his dream move to United after Ferguson himself spotted the young defender playing for Northern Irish outfit Portadown, who now only play to a semi-professional standard.

There wasn’t much for McGibbon to cheer about, though; getting sent off on his debut during the infamous 3-0 League Cup defeat to York City and he never earned a Premier League appearance.


DF – William Prunier

An injury crisis and busy festive schedule meant that United were desperate for a centre-back in 1995, prompting Ferguson to take a gamble on the Marseille man under trial conditions.

However, his second of just two appearances at the club was an unmitigated catastrophe, dropping an absolute disasterclass as United shipped four goals against Tottenham. Funnily enough, he was released soon after.


DF – Neil Whitworth

What was the point? Whitworth might be the most forgettable signing in United’s recent history and trust us when we say that isn’t a compliment, even with all these flops playing around him.

Whitworth, aged 18 at the time, was on a hiding to nothing competing with Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce after arriving from the Third Division, making just a single appearance in four years at the club.


RM – Alexis Sanchez

The man himself. The reason we’re here. 

As we’ve said, Sanchez looked like a different person whenever he pulled on a United jersey and not for the better, costing the club over £40 million in wages with very little in the way of a return.


CM – Morgan Schneiderlin

Who remembers when Schneiderlin looked like an absolute world-beater in that Southampton midfield? Us too, but whatever happened at Old Trafford seems to have sucked all that talent dry.

Schneiderlin was bang average during his debut season under Louis van Gaal and was swiftly exiled by Jose Mourinho, who eventually sold him to Everton where he’s continued to struggle.


CM – Kleberson

You’d think that nothing could possibly go wrong when you sign a World Cup-winning midfielder that shared a dressing room with Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo Nazario. Well, you’d be wrong.

Kleberson looked like a fish out of water in the Premier League, picking up an injury in just his second game and getting booted out to Besiktas after merely 30 games in the famous red strip.


CM – Eric Djemba-Djemba

So good they named him twice, they said. He’ll be a brilliant addition for United, they said. Yeh… about that.

The Cameroonian was meant to be a long-term successor for Roy Keane, but the only way in which he resembled the United legend was with his debut tackle on Sol Campbell that Arsene Wenger called ‘obscene’.

Frankly, that was about as exciting as his United spell ever got and he’s since embarked on a journeyman career at the likes of Aston Villa, Burnley and craziest of all: St Mirren.


LM – Angel Di Maria

Yes, yes, we know that Di Maria posted a respectable 10 assists during his one and only season, but he makes the XI for how catastrophic his arrival was off the pitch as opposed to on it.

You know it’s bad when one of his PSG teammates is saying: “Di Maria hates Manchester United He has no good memory of the time he spent there,” and his wife calls the city a ‘s***hole’.


ST – Bebe

It’s gone down in Premier League infamy that Ferguson broke his own rule of always watching a player himself before signing them and frankly, Bebe was the last player he should have made an exception for.

Despite apparently also being linked to Real Madrid, the Portuguese looked completely out of his depth in English football and scoring twice in seven games for the club actually flatters him.


ST – Radamel Falcao

For whatever reason, English football seemed to be Falcao’s kryptonite, because ‘El Tigre’ had risen to Ballon d’Or contention at Atletico Madrid with two 30-goal seasons just one year before signing.

You wouldn’t have known he had that ability, though, with Falcao posting a terrible goal-scoring record of four strikes in 29 games, before proceeding to flop again at Chelsea the following season.


GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says

Oh dear god. That lot would be competing in mid-table at the very best.

Personally, I do indeed think that Sanchez is United’s worst ever signing and that’s down to circumstance as opposed to him necessarily being pound-for-pound the club’s most rotten performer.

Besides, I think we can all agree that the absolute shell of Sanchez that we saw during his United days was a still a damn sight better than butter-fingers Taibi and out-of-his-depth Bebe.  


It’s the fact that United were so convinced Sanchez could drive them on to Premier League success and that he was worth a competition-record wage in order to fend off Manchester City’s approach.

But no, he simply played like a bang average winger miles below the standards expected at United.

It’s still something of a mystery, it must be said, because Sanchez is starting to show glimpses of the player that made him such a phenomena at Barcelona and Arsenal out on loan with Inter.

Whatever happened in Manchester, though, needs to stay in Manchester for the sake of his career.

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