Top 5 Fergie Flops at Manchester United

St Mirren's Eric Djemba Djemba

13 years ago today, Sir Alex Ferguson unveiled Kléberson as a £6 million signing for Manchester United.

Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and new signing Juan Sebastian VeronFerguson unveiling Juan Sebastiàn Verón

The Brazilian midfielder left Old Trafford two years later with only 20 league appearances to his name from his time in England.

In honour of this anniversary, we're going to take a look at some of the other times where Fergie didn't quite get it right in the transfer market.

Juan Sebastián Verón 

The skilful Argentine midfielder arrived from Lazio in 2001 for £28.1 million - a lot of money at the time, making him the most expensive transfer in English football history. 

Verón did not make a successful transition to the Premier League. A mercurial talent with a fondness for tricks, he was often hurried by Premier League defences and struggled to gain a stranglehold on matches.

In a recent interview with the Manchester United club website, Verón revealed why he struggled in England.

'Games were intense for 90 minutes,' he said. 'In Italy, it was more tactical and about closing down the games.'

'In England, the games were more open, the ball came back and forward. It was more physical too.'

'The difference between, say United and Aston Villa and Lazio and a smaller team, was smaller.'

In his two seasons at Old Trafford, he made 51 league appearances and scored seven goals before his sale to rivals Chelsea for £15 million.

In two years at Stamford Bridge he made only seven league appearances and eventually returned to Italy with Inter Milan. He has since retired and is the President of Estudiantes, the club with which he started and ended his career.

Eric Djemba-Djemba

The Cameroonian midfielder arrived from Nantes for £3.5 million in the same summer as Kléberson. 

Ferguson hoped that the 22-year-old would be the natural heir to Roy Keane, but sadly Djemba-Djemba was unable to prove that he was so good that they named him twice at Old Trafford.

He made only 20 league appearances before departing for Aston Villa in January 2005. Djemba-Djemba fared no better with the Midlands club (he was declared bankrupt in 2007), and further spells at Burnley, Odense BK, Hapoel Tel-Aviv and St Mirren were no more fruitful. 

St Mirren's Eric Djemba DjembaDjemba-Djemba during his spell at St Mirren

The 35-year-old Djemba-Djemba currently plies his trade in a village league in Indonesia.

David Bellion

The French striker also arrived from Sunderland in the 2003 summer transfer window (it wasn't Fergie's best). 

Despite scoring on the club's pre-season tour of the USA, Bellion found first-team opportunities hard to come by, and in three years at Old Trafford he made only five starts in the Premier League with two further starts for West Ham during a season out on loan. 

Bellion returned to France with Nice and then Bordeaux where he fared better, making 106 league appearances for Les Girondins.

David Bellion at Girondins Bordeaux - Picture supplied by Action ImagesDavid Bellion at Girondins Bordeaux 

In 2014, he signed for Red Star FC in the fourth tier of French football. 

Rodrigo Possebon

The former Italy U20 midfielder signed for United in 2008 after being scouted in his native Brazil. The wonderkid was highly rated and the United hierarchy had high hopes that they had unearthed a gem. 

In two years with the Red Devils, he didn't manage a start for the club, making three league appearances off the bench. A nasty knee injury suffered at the hands of Emanuel Pogatetz during a League Cup win over Middlesbrough in September 2008 certainly didn't help his progress.

Having initially left for Santos, he had a succession of short-lived, unsuccessful spells in Brazil and Italy. Last year, the IB Times reported he was playing in Bahrain for Al-Riffa Sports Club, though he has now returned to Brazil with a club called URT.


The young Portuguese forward was signed by United in 2010 for £7.4 million - this despite the fact that Ferguson had only met the 20-year-old the day before.

As the Daily Mail has since reported, it was a bizarre signing due to its apparent spontaneity and the size of the fee for a complete unknown, although the youngster's rise from being homeless to playing for one of the world's biggest clubs was pure Hollywood. 

Bebe of Manchester United (R) and Thulani Hlatshwayo of Ajax Cape Town in actionBebe in a rare piece of action for United

In playing terms, the move seemed misguided within weeks. In four years at the club, Bebé didn't start a single league game and was sold to Benfica for £2.4 million.

He was then loaned out to Rayo Vallecano last season where he made 34 league appearances in La Liga - though the team was relegated. 

Last month, he signed a four-year deal with Eibar to remain in La Liga. 

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