Manchester United, the greatest ever English club in terms of Premier League history, have declined significantly in recent years following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure as the Red Devils boss.
After a couple of failed stints with David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, the English heavyweights are fighting their way back to reconquer the League title under Jose Mourinho – the former Chelsea boss who guided them to win League Cup as well as Europa League trophy since his appointment last year.
The Portuguese tactician, however, only managed a sixth-placed league finish last term and is keen to bring in high profile names in order to achieve his season objectives.
Manchester United have spent big in recent times for their transfer targets and the names they brought in have made the fans ecstatic as well as euphoric. But did they justify their price tag?
United’s top 3 signings in terms of transfer fee have been a mixed and perplexing experience for the Red Devils supporters. Here is our analysis on these three big money moves who set the bar high at Theatre of Dreams.
3. Anthony Martial
Martial joined Manchester Untied a couple of years back as a 19-year old kid from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. Club’s £58 million ( including add-ons) investment on a rookie Frenchman baffled the football world. But the young centre-forward had an early impact as he scored in his debut against fierce rivals Liverpool after coming on as a substitute and helped his side to secure a 3-1 victory.
His early impression earned him loads of applauds and Martial was awarded the Golden Boy 2015 as Europe’s best under-21 player. He went on to make 49 appearances in all competitions and netted 17 times in his first season at Old Trafford.
Martial’s impressive form earned him a regular role in France senior squad, but his inconsistency cost him his place last season and was handed only 18 Premier League starts by the new gaffer. Martial is full of potential, holds a bright future ahead, but he has not fully convinced the fans as well as Mourinho in his two seasons at Manchester United and thus is yet to justify his hefty price tag.
2. Angel Di Maria
The Argentine superstar was an ambitious move by the Red Devils management who needed a marquee signing following a disastrous 2013-14 Premier League campaign under David Moyes. His £59.7 million move from Real Madrid was a club record transfer fee as well as highest amount ever paid by a British club at that point in time.
Although the winger had an impressive start, he faded away soon and struggled with injuries, off form and disciplinary concerns. He lost his place in the squad and was judged as the worst signing of the season by experts.
He completed a £44 million move to Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris St.-Germain next year drawing an end to his calamitous spell in English football.
1. Paul Pogba
Man United paid £89.3 million ( the highest ever fee paid for a player in football history) for the 24-year old French international last year, whom they let go in 2012.
Pogba flourished for Serie A champions Juventus thereafter and won plenty of individual honours following his stellar performances in various midfield roles.
However, his return to Old Trafford has been a mixed experience so far and despite appearing 51 times in all competitions, Paul Pogba is yet to settle in and earn certitude in Red Devils’ midfield. 2017-18, however, is a ‘make or break’ campaign for the French superstar who needs to uplift his game in order to avoid a ‘flop’ tag.