Manchester United most expensive signings ever
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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- Price: £47m
Not many players can claim that they have managed to get their names on the list of Manchester United most expensive signings ever, while also winning United’s Player of the Season award despite joining the club in the winter transfer window and even managing to get the captain’s armband the very next season.
Bruno Fernandes has been the focal point of discussion at Manchester United for quite some time now, as the Portuguese attacking-midfielder became one of the most expensive signings in Manchester United history after his £47 million move away from Sporting CP. Since joining his current club and becoming one of Manchester United most expensive signings ever, Fernandes’ market value has soared drastically, as his market value currently stands at €80 million, which is quite impressive given the fact that he has only made 28 appearances for Manchester United.
The Portugal international has already managed to score 16 goals and provide 11 assists in those 28 appearances for the club, which is indeed phenomenal for one of Manchester United most expensive signings ever, even though some might argue that many of his goals have come from the penalty spot.
- 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.
- Price: £50m
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has turned out to be one of the more exciting Manchester United most expensive signings ever this season, especially after his performance in a 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stages. He has already made 51 appearances for the club, even though he joined the Red Devils from Crystal Palace in 2019 for £50 million, which made his move one of the most expensive Manchester United transfers of all time.
Of course one fine performance and being on the starting XI does not usually mean that a player is exciting to watch and is worth paying such an exorbitant amount. But given the performances of some of the other Manchester United most expensive signings ever, it is safe to say that Wan-Bissaka has earned his place as the club’s main right-back.
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Angel Di Maria
- Price: £60m
Many of the United fans have already forgotten about it, and many or maybe all the other remaining fans would also want to forget about the disastrous one-season that Angel Di Maria spent in England after he became one of the Manchester United most expensive signings ever, with his transfer fee being the highest paid by a British club at the time.
The Argentinian joined Manchester United from Real Madrid in 2014 and donned the much cursed number 7 shirt in honor of his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who had put the curse on the number in the first place. There was clearly no love between the player and the club, which only meant that he managed to play a total of 32 games for the Red Devils before joining PSG for a much reduced £48 million.
The 32-year-old winger has got quite a full trophy cabinet for himself, which especially saw more trophies after his move to PSG, where he has been winning consecutive Ligue 1 titles year in year out. Even though he turned out to be a flop at his previous club, his name will be on the list of Manchester United most expensive signings ever for quite a while, a fact that any Man United supporter might want to forget.
- Price: £75m
Arriving a day after Wayne Rooney’s departure, Romelu Lukaku was believed to be the answer to all of Manchester United’s goal-scoring problems. He was the player who was destined to finally lift the curse so that the Red Devils could once again become a fearsome club, both in the Premier League and in Europe. The Belgian managed to score an impressive 27 goals across all competitions in his first season with the club.
But the drama began after the honeymoon phase was over. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mostly opted to play Marcus Rashford instead of Lukaku, while the dressing room atmosphere was also claimed to be less than proper for any player. The striker even went on to say: 'They Consider Us Dumb, but We Are Not', which could indicate how bad the treatment was at Old Trafford.
For the exorbitant amount of money spent on bringing Lukaku to Old Trafford, one of Manchester United most expensive signings ever did not get to play many games for the club, as he only made 96 appearances in two seasons, scoring 42 goals and providing 14 assists.
- 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.
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- 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.
These were top 10 most expensive Manchester United signings, most of whom were not able to make a considerable impact and have already left the club so soon after their arrivals. We will have to wait and see if Ed Woodward continues spending money in this fashion, or is he going to invest a lot smarter from now on.