There are a lot of issues that polarize football fans, none more so than signings that their clubs make. One thing we have learned as united fans, our club’s recruiting policy has not been the best in recent times. From the failures of Di Maria and Falcao to the catastrophe of Alexis Sanchez, United’s desire to prioritize commercial signings has overcome the need to fill gaping holes in the squad, with some exceptions. 7 years after Sir Alex has left the club, let’s look at some of the best signings since then.
Only the second signing after Fergie’s departure, Juan Mata joined United from Chelsea in January 2014. In a never-ending transition phase, Juan Mata has been a constant source of positivity on and off the pitch. Despite his age and being played out of position for majority of United tenure ,Mata has had a commendable success. Add to that the fact that he is one of the best technical players and arguably the nicest person in football, there is no way he isn’t on this list.
Another Spaniard on the list, recruited by Van Gaal, probably had the most negative impact on United’s performance this season just because of his absence and the lack of a replacement in the starting 11. Ander Herrera was rarely given consistent runs in the team by different managers. The truth is that whenever played, Herrera was an integral cog in the team and provided the much needed grit and fluidity in midfield. For that and his masterpiece against Hazard, Herrera will always be a fan favourite.
Probably the most surprising signing post-Fergie, Anthony Martial was a bolt of fresh energy as soon as he slotted it in the bottom corner against the Scoucers. One major grievance that people have with Martial is his lack of consistency and questions over his development since joining the club in 2015. Even after Rashford went down this season, Martial has seemingly held his form and is currently on track to his best season yet with 11 league goals so far. Though there are numerous doubts surrounding him, his talent on the ball is something not many can argue against
With the most impactful debut season only behind Robin Van Persie, it’s none other than Zlatan himself. After joining United, he had a mammoth season scoring 28 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. Though his stay with United was a brief one, he brought back the swagger in the locker room and played a crucial role in United winning the Europa and EFL cup that season. Had hen joined at a younger age, Zlatan might’ve become a United legend over the years.
Arguably the most divisive player for not only United fans, but football fans around the world. Some believe Pogba is among the best midfielders in the world, while others (Souness) argue that he is grossly overrated. The argument isn’t a difficult one if anyone is talking purely about on-pitch contribution. Paul Pogba is one of the most talented footballers in the world and played a crucial role in World Cup and Europa league winning campaigns; which only adds to his resume. Remove his agent, and Paul Pogba would definitely be a shoe-in for the best signing post-Fergie.
Spending less than a full season at the club, Aaron Wan Bissaka is definitely a curious choice for this list. My reasoning behind it? For the first time since Gary Neville, we have a proper right back. We have someone reliable in the right side of defence and we don’t have to worry about being caught out. There is a lot to learn when it comes to going forward but he has already shown signs of progression. If we judge defenders by their primary task – defending, AWB is on the verge of becoming one of the best in the world.
The final name on my list is the most recent one and that is Bruno Fernandes. A creative midfielder who doesn’t go by the name of Paul Pogba, surely increases the quality of our squad. Without a doubt, Bruno needs to earn this spot, but his instant impact in our squad, is enough reason for me. He might be the Paul Pogba replacement, but he brings in additional creative quality which the squad has been craving for.
I have focused this list on players who had an impact in a position or added value that the squad was in search of. A few players have the potential to climb up to this list in the near future. Players such as Harry Maguire, Fred, Luke Shaw and Daniel James. They have shown that they deserve more time before we can deem them to be one of our best signings. One name is omitted from above and that’s because this list includes the top signings, where as club legends such as Odion Ighalo, deserve a whole article just for themselves.