Manchester United’s 5 Worst Signings In The Premier League Era

Pogba and Lukaku
Pogba and Lukaku

Manchester United have a good track record when it comes to high-value transfers. Most of their high-ticket purchases have helped them to the biggest trophies, further increasing their global reach and fanfare. Today’s topic, however, does not revolve around them. It is about some expensive acquisitions that did not work out the way everyone expected.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at Manchester United’s five worst transfers in the Premier League era:

#5 Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku Is One Of Manchester United's Worst Transfers Ever
Romelu Lukaku Couldn’t Justify His Price Tag At Manchester United

Impressed with his spell at Everton, Manchester United splurged $96 million to secure Romelu Lukaku’s services in the summer of 2017. In his debut season, Lukaku racked up 27 goals and nine assists in 51 matches, but he received criticism for his poor first touch and lack of impact in tricky clashes.

His performances took a nosedive in the 2018-19 season, with the attacker managing to score only 15 goals in 45 appearances across competitions. Manchester United still managed to recover a significant chunk of the money they spent on the Belgian, with Inter Milan agreeing to sign him for $81.34 million in the summer of 2019.

#4 Harry Maguire

Harry Mag Is One Of Manchester United's Worst-Ever Signings
Harry Maguire Is On The Verge Of Leaving Man United

Following an impressive spell at Leicester City, England center-back Harry Maguire joined Manchester United for a whopping $102 million in 2019, becoming the most expensive defender in history. His astronomical price tag made him an easy target for critics, and the Englishman did not do himself any favors with his error-filled performances.

Maguire, who only started eight Premier League matches last season after falling behind Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order, is expected to depart the club this summer. According to sources, West Ham United are interested in signing him and United are prepared to let him leave for a fee in the region of $38 million.

The 30-year-old has so far played 175 games for the club in all competitions, scoring seven times and providing five assists.

#3 Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez Is One Of Manchester United's Worst Transfers Of The Era
Alexis Sanchez Scored Only 3 Premier League Goals For Manchester United

Manchester United arguably produced the most grandiose announcement video to date when they unveiled Alexis Sanchez as their new signing in January 2018. Coming off a sensational spell at Arsenal, the $37.34 million man was expected to set the stage alight with his performances. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, things did not pan out the way they had hoped.

The Chilean forward miserably failed to replicate his Arsenal heroics at Old Trafford. His work rate was poor, he did not have the confidence to take players on, and squandered more goalscoring opportunities than one can count.

One-and-a-half seasons of mediocrity later, United loaned Sanchez out to Inter Milan before the Chilean sealed a permanent transfer to the Italian club in the summer of 2020. During his short stay, Sanchez appeared in 45 games for the club in all competitions, scoring five times and providing nine assists.

#2 Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria Is One Of The Worst Manchester United Transfers
Angel Di Maria Left Manchester United Just After One Season

Manchester United had seemingly made a killing when they signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for a $77 million fee in August 2014. Unfortunately, the Argentine could not last more than a season at United.

According to reports, Di Maria was uncomfortable with then-coach Louis van Gaal’s restrictive formation, as he had little room to express himself. Additionally, Di Maria and his family were a victim of an attempted burglary at his Cheshire mansion, which left a sour taste in the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner’s mouth.

The following summer, Di Maria left for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), with the Red Devils accepting $56 million for his services. Before his departure, Di Maria played 32 games for the Mancunians in all competitions, scoring four times and claiming 12 assists.

#1 Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba Has Been One Of Manchester United's Worst Purchases
Paul Pogba Has Been Manchester United’s Most Expensive ($114 million) Mistake

Rising through the ranks at Manchester United, Paul Pogba seemed destined to make it big at Old Trafford. However, a dispute over his contract saw him leave his boyhood club for Juventus as a free agent in 2012. Impressed by his performances at Juventus, the Red Devils made the call to bring him back in 2016, splurging a then-world record $114 million to get him.

The French superstar showed glimpses of his brilliance multiple times during his stay in Manchester, but consistency eluded him. Additionally, he demonstrated a sub-par work ethic, while never-ending injuries also held him back.

After scoring 39 goals and providing 51 assists in 226 appearances across competitions, Pogba left Manchester again as a free agent in 2022, opting to return to Juve to put his career back on track.

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