Premier League

Hit or Miss? Man Utd's transfer record since 2013, with a net spend of £700m

How have United performed in the transfer market since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson?

 
5:00pm on Monday 31st August 2020
By
Paul Macdonald • PAULMACDFC

Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013 and, since then, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been extremely active in the transfer market during that time.

But how many of those many, many deals actually worked out for the club? Let's have a look.

2013/14

Man Utd Transfers IN - 13/14

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Juan MataChelsea£40mOK
Marouane FellainiEverton£29mOK

Juan Mata has been a long and dedicated servant and has, at times, shown flashes of brilliance, but he was never the transcendent signing that David Moyes wanted him to be and so we must be lukewarm on his overall impact for what was, at the time, a huge fee.

Exactly the same can be said of Marouane Fellaini. He had his moments, no doubt, but he never shed the foolish figure he was portrayed as, alongside the huge transfer fee, and though he remained through Jose Mourinho - and was regularly used by the Portuguese - he never became a player to be trusted or relied upon.

2014/15

Man Utd Transfers IN - 14/15

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Angel Di MariaReal Madrid£67mMISS
Luke ShawSouthampton£33mHIT
Marcos RojoSporting CP£18mMISS
Daley BlindAjax£16mOK
Radamel FalcaoMonaco£6m (loan)MISS

Angel Di Maria has been a success at literally every other club he has played at, but despite an exciting start, Di Maria and his family could not settle in Manchester and it begun to infect his performances on the pitch. In the end it was better for all parties that he was moved on to PSG.

Luke Shaw can be still be considered a successful arrival and may have been even better had he not suffered a serious leg break when playing in the Champions League. He still has many years ahead of him if he can remain fit.

Marcus Rojo wasn't a massive outlay but he was never first choice either and United have had massive difficulty in moving him given his salary. It was a transfer that just didn't work out for anyone.

Daley Blind is perhaps underrated by United fans and though his short stature did count against him when playing at centre-back, he's easily the best ball-playing CB United have had in the post-Ferguson era. He did just fine and was important to Louis van Gaal's side.

Radamel Falcao looked lost in English football, not only at United but at Chelsea afterwards. He had come on the back of a serious knee injury and clearly wasn't at full confidence when playing at Old Trafford. Luckily for United, it was only a small loan fee outlay that was lost in the deal.

2015/16

Man Utd Transfers IN - 15/16

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Anthony MartialMonaco£54mHIT
Morgan SchneiderlinSouthampton£31mMISS
Memphis DepayPSV£30mMISS
Matteo DarmianTorino£16mMISS
Bastian SchweinsteigerBayern£8mMISS

Anthony Martial probably hasn't reached his peak at United yet and though, after a strong start, he struggled at times, under Solskjaer he has excelled in 2019/20 and has evolved into a better finisher and better all-round forward. There's plenty more to come from him.

Morgan Schneiderlin was never a Manchester United player, not even close. The fee was ridiculous and he never looked close to being good enough.

The less said about Bastian Schweinsteiger the better, while Matteo Darmian was almost equally ineffective and more money was wasted.

Memphis Depay's situation is much more complex. A natural talent of whom big things were expected but ultimately couldn't find his stride in Manchester and also suffered from personal problems. What he has done in Lyon proves his talent and he still has a big move in him - maybe the switch came at too young an age.

2016/17

Man Utd Transfers IN - 16/17

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Paul PogbaJuventus£95mOK
Henrikh MkhitaryanDortmund£38mMISS
Eric BaillyVillarreal£34mOK
Zlatan IbrahimovicPSGFREEHIT

Paul Pogba's unquestionable talent has only been on show in fits and starts on his return to United, and there's still hope that a transcendent season could emerge from him in the near future before his inevitable move to Spain and probably Real Madrid.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was much-anticipated but was ultimately sacrificed in the deal to bring in Alexis Sanchez, such he was surplus to requirements. Eric Bailly, when fit, has been a useful player but all-too often has been unavailable. He may still have a role to play.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a massive success in his short spell at the club and had he not suffered a serious injury he could have a second excellent season. He was a real success despite arriving at the end of his career.

2017/18

Man Utd Transfers IN - 17/18

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Romelu LukakuEverton£76mOK
Nemanja MaticChelsea£40mOK
Victor LindelofBenfica£31mOK
Alexis SanchezArsenal£31mMISS

Romelu Lukaku was seen as the solution to United's attacking woes and for a while he looked like the obvious answer to the question, but it ended badly with Solskjaer feeling he couldn't use him in his new side, and sent him to Inter.

Nemanja Matic hasn't been a total success but on certain occasions has been a very useful addition, his physique and ability to control the game has been important on occasions, though he won't be the long-term answer given his age.

Victor Lindelof continues to play regularly, but has never actually convinced in any capacity of his game. Alexis Sanchez might be the worst value-for-money in the history of the Premier League, if not in history.

2018/19

Man Utd Transfers IN - 18/19

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
FredShakhtar£53mMISS
Diogo DalotPorto£19mMISS

Fred started looking like he would be another expensive flop, but has slowly established himself, though whether he is seen as a long-term proposition remains to be seen.

Diogo Dalot, unfortunately, has been a disaster, and the arrival of Aaron Wan-Bissaka last summer effectively sealed his fate as never making it at Old Trafford.

2019/20

Man Utd Transfers IN - 19/20

PlayerSigned FromFeeHit/Miss
Harry MaguireLeicester£78mOK
Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace£50mOK
Bruno FernandesSporting CP£50mHIT
Daniel JamesSwansea£15mMISS

Harry Maguire, given his transfer fee, was always likely to be heavily scrutinised (particularly by rival fans) but his performances overall are better than people believe - it's simply that his mistakes, when the come, seem to be more highlighted.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been a solid defensive addition but the attacking element of his game leaves much to be desired and whether he will develop that side of his game going forward remains to be seen.

Bruno Fernandes has been an unqualified success, no question about it. Daniel James on the other hand seems frozen out now with the emergence of Mason Greenwood and it's unclear how he gets back into the side.

CONCLUSION

2019/20

United Net Spend

SeasonSpendRevenue+/-
13/14£70m£2m-£68m
14/15£176m£44m-£132m
15/16£140m£92m-£48m
16/17£167m£43m-£124m
17/18£179m£41m-£138m
18/19£74m£28m-£46m
19/20£192m£73m-£119m
Total££998m323m-£675m

Manchester United have spent just short of £1 billion on this team since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013 and, really, much of it has been squandered. Many of the deals can already be considered as flops, while a good few of those could be considered as good or bad either way.

A net spend of £675m is a staggering amount of money, with many of the flops already moved on during that time.

For those suggesting that Ole Solskjaer needs to be back in the transfer market - well, there's huge swathe of players that could and should be moved out before anyone else should be added.

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