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Manchester United most expensive signings ever

Sun 31 October 2021 | 7:00

Who are the most expensive Manchester United signings ever? Continue below to find out about the players whom the Red Devils have deemed worthy enough to pay huge amounts of money for.

There are only a handful of clubs in the world that are known by practically everyone involved in the world of football. Manchester United are certainly one such club, as they used to be the dominant reigning champions of the

Premier League

for quite a long time. Not many clubs could survive an incident such as the Munich air disaster of 1958, when the Red Devils lost 23 of their men, a truly tragic event that shook the footballing world.

The club managed to prevail once again, however, specially after appointing Sir Alex Ferguson as manager in 1986, whose focus on youth development produced absolute gems like the ‘Class of 92’. Now the Premier League side is one of the richest clubs in the world, which allows for records being broken with the headlines saying ‘Manchester United highest transfer fee paid ever’ once every other season.

The list of

Manchester United

most expensive transfers ever updates almost every season as new Manchester United most expensive signings ever

arrive at the club with hopes of reaching for the stars. The club have paid quite hefty amounts of money to acquire the services of various players, some of whom have managed to settle in at their new squad and become an integral part of the team. However, not all of

Manchester United's all-time most expensive signings

have been successful. So without further ado, let us get to know about the most expensive Manchester United transfers of all time.

Most expensive Manchester United signings ever

Here are some of the most expensive Manchester United transfers of all time. Which of these players do you think were worth the amount of money spent on acquiring them?

Anthony Martial

  • Price: £36m

As the winner of the 2015 Golden Boy Award,

Anthony Martial

became one of Manchester United's all-time most expensive signings after his move to England for an initial fee of £36 million. However, it was the ridiculous amount of add-ons of up to £15 million that made him the most expensive teenager of the time.

The French striker is versatile enough to play on both wings and of course in the center and has got quite a lot of games under his belt since joining Manchester United, which is a privilege not every youngster gets to experience. He has already made more than 200 appearances for his club, scoring more than 70 goals and providing 43 assists in the process, which is quite impressive for a young talent, and might also be the reason he has become one of Manchester United most expensive signings ever.

Of course Man Utd. supporters expect a lot more from their striker and believe that he has seen quite a dip in form in recent times. Playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the world could bring such forms of pressure with itself, a pressure which is doubled for someone who is one of the

most expensive signings in Manchester United history

. Martial has surely got his eyes on winning the Premier League with his club one day, a title they have not won since 2011.

Juan Mata

  • Price: £37m

Juan Mata

, one of

Manchester United most expensive signings ever

, is considered a veteran in the world of football as the 32-year-old has got more than 600 games in total under his belt with various clubs, including

Valencia

, Chelsea, and of course Manchester United. The Spaniard became one of Manchester United's all-time most expensive signings after he moved to the club from Chelsea for £37 million, a figure that sparked joy and excitement in the hearts of supporters who were eager to see their new signing live up to his price tag.

Aside from being one of the most expensive Manchester United signings ever, Mata has got quite a full trophy cabinet as he has won the 2010 World cup, the 2012 Euros, 1 Champions League trophy, 2 Europa League titles, 2 FA Cups, 1 EFL Cup and another Copa del Rey, with other youth titles and trophies as well.

But it is in fact interesting to know that, while Mata has almost won every trophy a player could dream of, he has never gotten his hands on a League trophy, whether it being the La Liga title or the Premier League trophy. The attacking midfielder has made more than 250 appearances for his current club, scoring 50 goals and adding another 46 assists to his tally, which many would consider a success as far as most expensive signings in Manchester United history go.

Nemanja Matic

  • Price: £40m

The Serbia international got his name on the list of Manchester United most expensive signings ever after his £40 million move in the summer of 2017, with fans having high hopes for the almost 2-meters tall Serbian to prevail at his new club. Nemanja Matic’s highest market value was £40 million, but has drastically dropped since he switched clubs three years ago, which is only partly due to his age.

Before getting his name on the list of

Manchester United most expensive transfers ever

, Matic used to play for the London based club,

Chelsea

, where he went on to win the Premier League three times before joining the Red Devils. Now, after three years, he has played in over 120 games for Manchester United, while also spending a couple of months on the sidelines due to various injuries which might have been the reason behind his dip in form in the first place.

No matter the quality of his performances, one thing is for sure, Matic is in fact on the list of Manchester United most expensive signings ever, even though they have not been able to win any major trophies since Matic’s arrival at the club, which is something the board and the players should seriously think about. The question is, will the club bounce back to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy once again?

Bruno Fernandes

  • Price: £56m

Who would have thought that a single player could turn the tides in Manchester United’s favor in such fashion? Who would have foreseen the fact that Bruno Fernandes, one of the club’s most expensive signings, would go on to become one of the pillars that the entire club stands on? Because that is exactly what the Portugal international has managed to do and be ever since joining the Red Devils in the 2020 winter transfer window.

Most big-signings refrain from moving in the winter as superstition and real-life experience suggests that winter signings don’t do as good as summer signings. But Fernandes proved everyone wrong as he earned the Manchester United Player of the Month award in the very first month of his arrival. The Premier League side paid an eye-watering £56 million to sign the Portuguese midfielder, a transfer fee that could increase up to £75 million if certain conditions are met.

Having joined

Sporting CP

from Sampdoria for £8 million, many thought that Fernandes was only a good penalty taker and nothing more. But the versatile midfielder has definitely put in more than his fair share of effort ever since joining the club in the January transfer window. He has made more than 90 appearances for Manchester United so far, scoring an incredible 44 goals and providing 29 assists in the process as well.

Fred

  • Price: £47m

Many of Manchester United most expensive transfers ever seem to follow a specific pattern of performing well at another club, then moving to England breaking the record for

Manchester United highest transfer fee paid ever

, and in the end, seeing their market value fall considerably, as the players get used to underperforming at their new club.

Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, shortly known as Fred, signed for the English club after spending five years at Shakhtar Donetsk. His transfer fee was reported to be £47 million, which made him one of the most expensive Manchester United transfers of all time. Bringing in expensive players with hefty salaries and wages should normally inspire a team to win more and better trophies. But that has not been the case with the Red Devils, as not even the £47 million price tag on the Brazilian could help him inspire his team to win a trophy since joining the club.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

  • Price: £50m

Everyone lost their mind when Aaron Wan-Bissaka arrived at Manchester United for an unbelievable transfer fee of £50 million in the summer of 2019. Many pundits and fans alike voiced their concern over the young and inexperienced right-back as they believed he was simply not worth all that money. Considering the fact that the Englishman was only 20 years old at the time, people were right to doubt the club’s decision to splash the cash and bring in such an unnamed player for such an expensive price.

However, despite all the hate and criticism that Wan-Bissaka received from the media, he did not lose hope and continued working on his game week-in week-out. That is why he is currently one of the main starters at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s roster and is deployed as the club’s main right-back in almost every game. The now 23-year-old has undoubtedly proven everyone wrong with his impressive performances. Of course that is not to say that he is incredibly without error and that he was worth all that money.

But seeing how big-money moves turn out to be flops in the end, perhaps Wan-Bissaka has earned his place at the club as one of the

most expensive Manchester United transfers of all time

. The former Crystal Palace defender has already made a total of 109 appearances for the Red Devils and has even managed to score 2 goals and provide 10 assists in the process.

Angel Di Maria

  • Price: £60m

A long time has passed since those dark days and few still think about the past now that Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Manchester United to lift the curse of the number 7, the same curse that he put in effect after leaving the Premier League club to join

Real Madrid

. This particular curse affected so many footballers throughout the years and one of those cases was Angel Di Maria.

The Argentinian winger arrived at United with a lot of promise as the club had made him one of the

Manchester United most expensive signings ever

by spending a whopping £60 million to get his signature. However, nothing went as planned as the 2020 Copa America winner failed to deliver on his promises and quickly fell out with both the manager and the supporters, even though he managed to provide 12 assists and score 4 goals in 32 appearances for the Red Devils.

Perhaps it was the enormous price tag that prevented everyone from focusing on the positive aspects of Di Maria’s single season at United. It didn’t take long for the Argentina international to be shunned away from the club as he decided to join Paris Saint-Germain only a season after his arrival in England. The former Real Madrid man has turned into one of the most vital parts of the Parisian side ever since. He has made over 270 appearances at PSG and has managed to score 89 goals and provide 112 assists in the process.

Romelu Lukaku

  • Price: £75m

Just like many other Manchester United signings, Romelu Lukaku was doomed to be shunned by the club despite showing an acceptable form over the course of two seasons. Having scored 42 goals in 96 appearances, the club’s supporters deemed these stats non-satisfactory as the club and the player fell out of a rather cold relationship.

This drama led Lukaku opting to join

Inter

in the Serie A, where he finally managed to find his true self and realize his potential as he achieved the impossible by ending Juventus’ reign over the Italian league and helping his club win the Scudetto after more than a decade.

Since those glorious days, one of

Manchester United most expensive signings ever

has now returned to his former club Chelsea, where he was deemed to be a flop. His return is definitely a celebrated at the club as they paid a whopping £105 million to bring in the Belgian striker from Inter.

Harry Maguire

  • Price: £80m

When Harry Maguire was only a Sheffield United academy graduate, slowly beginning to find his feet in the senior squad, nobody thought that he would one day become the world’s most expensive defender by moving to Manchester United for £80 million.

Leicester City

surely profited a lot with this sale as they sold him for almost eight times the amount that they had paid for the Englishman.

The 27-year-old has been through a lot since last season, getting arrested in Greece and all the humiliating flops in recent games. Something that blew the minds of the fans and other Premier League enthusiasts, was the fact that he was named the club captain in the very first season that he joined the club. Man United fans are surely hoping for one of the most expensive signings to keep it together and not turn into a flop, as they have suffered enough over the years.

Paul Pogba

  • Price: £89m

Imagine letting your young talent move to another club on a free transfer, only to make him the most expensive signing in your club’s history a couple of years later. While that might sound silly to some people, but that is exactly what Manchester United have done with

Paul Pogba

. The French midfielder was a Red Devil back in 2012, but was let go of for free when he was only 19 years old.

Pogba moved to

Juventus

and decided to up his game in Italy, which is how he turned into an absolute beast in Serie A, scoring 34 beautiful goals and providing 40 assists throughout the years he was at the club. His phenomenal performance as a central and defensive midfielder convinced Manchester United, his former club, to pay an eye-watering amount of £89 million in order to bring him back, a deal from which Juventus profited greatly.

Jadon Sancho

  • Price: £71M

The Jadon Sancho transfer saga finally came to an end when the Red Devils put in an official bid for the young Englishman and got to sign him from Borussia Dortmund over the summer of 2021. While Sancho is not the most expensive signing in the club’s history, he has still cost the Premier League side quite a hefty amount of money.

Manchester United have had to pay more than a whopping £70 million or €85 million to get their hands on the player they had been linked with for a couple of seasons. After deciding to leave Manchester City’s academy and join Dortmund in the Bundesliga, Sancho became one of the most prominent and exciting prospects in Europe as he attracted quite a lot of attention from several of the world’s top clubs.

The England international rose up the ranks especially after his Euro 2020 display, even though he missed a crucial penalty in the final against Italy. Having joined Borussia Dortmun for about £6 million in 2017, the former City academy product finally put an end to all speculations by joining the Red Devils. He has since made a total of 10 appearances at the time of writing but has not managed to make an impact at his new club as everyone is eagerly waiting to finally see him settle at Manchester United.

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