In a press conference leading up to the 2nd leg of United’s derby clash with Man City, Ole tossed some shade at the January transfer window, presumably to downplay our expectations for any new signings.
“It is difficult in the transfer window. I can’t remember many good deals we’ve brought in in January.”
Dortmund signs Haaland, Inter signs Young / Eriksen, Spurs get Bergwijn, Leeds gets Jean-Kévin Augustin on loan… LEEDS!?
United continues to be linked to everyone and their mother, yet no deals are being made… Ed, we’re DYIN here!
Putting all this aside, United have a history of signings in the January window that were huge successes… And of course a few flops…
Let’s take a look at some of the signings who were hits for the Red Devils.
- Nemanja Vidic … Signed in 2006 from Spartak Moscow
One could easily make the case for the big Serbian being one of the greatest defenders in United’s history. Combining with Rio Ferdinand for possibly the stoutest defensive duo ever.
In eight years, at Old Trafford, Vidic won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, and the Champions League. He comes from Serbia…
2. Patrice Evra … Signed in 2006 from Monaco
Uncle Pat joined United in the same window as Vidic, bolstering United’s defense for 8 years.
Fast forward to today, and Evra is still strongly connected to United. Uncle Pat served as a trainee coach at the academy, and is a widely known supporter of Paul Pogba. His passion for the club is second to none, and he is still loved by the fan base.
3. Louis Saha … Signed in 2004 from Fulham
Saha finished the 2004 season with 7 goals in 14 appearances, and looked to be a solid contributor for years to come for Sir Alex.
Unfortunately, injuries plagued Saha’s career for his 4 year run at Old Trafford and he eventually transferred to Everton in 2008, after winning two Premier League titles and a League Cup, having contributed 42 goals in 124 appearances for United.
4. Juan Mata … Signed on 2014 from Chelsea
While the “Special Juan”, a two time Chelsea “Player of the Year”, couldn’t save Moyes from getting sacked after failing to qualify for Champion’s League football… Mata has continued impressed fans at Old Trafford for 6 years.
Who could forget his bicycle against the Scouse bastards?
At the ripe age of 31, Mata continues to break into United’s starting 11 and provide a touch of magic to a depleted squad.
Let’s not kid ourselves though, United has signed their fair share of flops in January…
If you don’t remember names like Dong Fangzhuo, Possebon, Manucho, and/or Tošić… it’s for a reason. All these names were rather forgettable, since they struggled to break into the first team.
Alexis Sanchez, Wilfred Zaha, Anders Lindegaard, and Victor Valdes could also be argued as United flops. At least Lindegaard, Sanchez, and Valdes made a first team impact, albeit small ones. Sanchez’s Red Devil legacy to be continued this summer after a loan to Inter.
I can’t complete this list without an honorable mention of my favorite United loanee, Henrik Larsson. The Swede signed on a loan deal from Helsingborg that lasted till March of 2007.
In his brief United career, Larsson netted 3 goals in 13 matches and provided class that was praised by Sir Alex at the end of his run.
“He’s been fantastic for us, his professionalism, his attitude, everything he’s done has been excellent. We would love him to stay but, obviously, he has made his promise to his family and Helsingborg and I think we should respect that … but I would have done anything to keep him.”
Fast forward to the first window of 2020 and United have finally agreed a deal for Bruno Fernandes.
Though I will still only believe it once we see a jersey in hand… One cannot help but hope that Fernandes fills the role of the number “10” that we desperately need.
I’ll leave you with a nice compilation of Fernandes highlights from his 2019/2020 season with Sporting… In high hopes that he develops into a United hit, rather than a flop.
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