With the transfer window in full swing, HITC Sport takes a look and some of the best and the worst Manchester United signings.
Over the years, we've seen many spectacular and strange signings in the transfer window. Moves that have amazed and mystified fans and journalists alike, along with the occasional "hidden gem" or the odd "flop". Manchester United are one club who have been subject to all of the above over the years, and so, HITC Sport has decided to take a look at some of the best and the worst of Manchester United's transfer business.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward
Arriving as a largely unknown quantity, one of Sir Alex Feguson's best January transfer signings was the capturing of Spartak Moscow defender, Nemanja Vidic. On the 25th of January 2006, he made his debut for United as a substitute for Ruud Van Nistelrooy in the dying minutes of a 2–1 win in the League Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Rovers, and never looked back, going on to win 5 Premier League titles, 3 League Cups and the Champions League trophy, going down as one of United's greatest ever captains.
Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United
Arriving from Sporting Lisbon as the world's most expensive teenager, perhaps not even Sir Alex Ferguson knew just how good a player he was signing when Cristiano Ronaldo first arrived at Manchester United. Being given the number 7 shirt, a shirt worn by United legends such as George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham, perhaps Ronaldo was always destined for greatness, as the Portuguese attacker went on to score an incredible 84 in 196 appearances, eventually becoming one of the greatest players in world football.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
No great team can win titles without a world class goalkeeper, and for many years Manchester United lacked just that. From Fabien Barthez to Roy Carroll, United were awash with inconsistent keepers, and desperately needed someone to step in and stop their ridiculous goal rot. That all changed in June of 2005 however, when Manchester United signed the then Fulham goalkeeper, Edwin Van der Sar. Going on to make 186 appearances for the Red Devils, Van der Sar is largely considered one of United's greatest ever goalkeepers, helping Ferguson's side to 4 Premier League titles, 3 League Cups and that all important Champions League trophy.
Edwin Van der Sar saving Nicholas Anelka's penalty in the Champions League final
Many thought at the time that the signing of Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron was a good move at the time, but the midfielder's time at Manchester United was poor to say the least. After two frustrating seasons, Veron departed Manchester United for Chelsea, going down as big waste of big money.
Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Juan Sebastian Veron
As we mentioned previously, the best teams can be, at times, only as good as their goalkeeper, and Manchester United have had some poor ones over the years. One of which, is Roy Carroll. A largely disappointing goalkeeping signing by Ferguson, who made 49 appearances for the Red Devils, left after being told he wasn’t nailed on to be first choice in May 2005. Ferguson trusted Roy Carroll with the number one jersey after some bad fumbles, including the infamous goal-line clearance that never was against Spurs at Old Trafford.
Roy Carroll - Manchester United
Joining in 2010 from Portuguese side Vitoria, Bebe will most certainly go down as one of the most head-scratching Manchester United signings ever. Making just two appearances for the Red Devils, Bebe was largely known only for his performance at the European Street Football Festival in 2009, rather than anything he had done in professional football, and after a succession of loans, eventually left the club in 2014 for Benfica. Now playing for Spanish club Eibar, Bebe is clawing his career back into shape, with 2 goals in his last 10 appearances.
Bebe of Manchester United (R)