Manchester United are one of the most successful clubs in Europe but in recent years, they have been struggling to return to reckoning in European club football. Even in the Premier League where they used to dominate, they have not been able to do as much as expected.
To maintain their dominance in the Premier League and to continue to remain a force in Europe, Manchester United have spent at least £1.4 billion in signing players in the last ten years. Despite such a huge investment, the last time they won a major title was in the 2016-2017 season when the club’s former coach Jose Mourinho helped the club to win a Europa League title.
Since then, the closest they have come to winning a title was playing in the final of the Europa League and finishing second in the Premier League in the 2020-2021 season.
So far this season, Manchester United have recorded 14 wins, 8 draws, and 7 defeats in 29 Premier League games. Their performance has left them on the 5th spot with 50 points, 4 points below fourth-placed Arsenal.
They have been knocked out of all European club competitions and domestic tournaments which means that they will finish the 2021-2022 season without any major title.
Below are the top five mistake signings at Manchester United in recent years:
Note that the list is based on players Manchester United signed and sold in the last 10 years.
- Angel Di Maria:
In 2014, Manchester United decided to pay Real Madrid £60 million for the services of Angel Di Maria. The move became a huge mistake as the Argentine footballer spent just a season at Manchester United before the Premier League side sold him to PSG for just £15 million. Di Maria managed to score just three league goals in 27 games before he pressured United to sell him to PSG where he has won a whopping 17 titles between 2015 and 2022.
2. Morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan Schneiderlin was another huge erroneous signing at Manchester United. The club wanted a midfielder that could help steady the ship at the club. On the surface, Schneiderlin was looking like the answer but he became a total disaster at Old Trafford after United paid Southampton £25 million for his services in 2015.
The midfielder made just 31 appearances in two seasons before he joined Everton in 2017. He is currently playing for French Ligue 1 side Nice.
- Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay joined Manchester United from PSV immediately the club agreed to sell Di Maria. He was seen as the direct replacement for the Argentine attacking midfielder who can also play as a winger.
The French forward had the opportunity to wear the iconic jersey number seven. But the jersey became a curse to Depay who cost Manchester United £25 million.
Memphis Depay had a frustrating two seasons at Old Trafford where he managed to score two goals in 33 games. He had to join Lyon in 2017 where he became a very prolific forward. Depay is now playing for FC Barcelona.
- Donny van de Beek
In 2020, Manchester United paid £40 million to Ajax to sign Donny van de Beek who was wanted by almost every big club in Europe then.
After joining the Premier League club, all the coaches at the club suddenly see no reason to continue to use him. He managed to make just 27 league appearances at Old Trafford before he forced his move to Everton in January 2022.
- Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku was a failure at Chelsea before he joined Everton where he became an outstanding striker. His performance at the Premier League side forced Manchester United to pay Everton £75 million to sign the Belgian in 2017.
Though he showed brilliance in terms of scoring a couple of goals, he was often criticized for his inability to control the ball and make vital runs upfront due to his stature. Hence, Manchester United had to sell him to Inter Milan for £65 million.
To the dismay of many United fans, Lukaku rediscovered himself and started to score week in and week out in Italy to the extent Chelsea had to play Inter Milan £97.5 million for his services ahead of the 2021-2022 season.