Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson is undoubtedly a legend in the world of football managers, but even the great Scot has signed some players that have given the Old Trafford faithful nightmares. Luckily for us as United fans his judgement has been good on the majority of his signings. Here is a list of some of those United signings that Sir Alex would rather forget.
1. Massimo Taibi
The Italian goalkeeper arrived at Manchester United from Venezia for £4.4million in 1999 and made his debut against Liverpool, in which he made a high profile gaffe allowing Sami Hyypia to score, but he also made some excellent saves and went onto to claim man of the match, unfortunately that was as good as it was going to get for the Italian. He then made an awful error against Southampton' Matt Le Tissier, which lead to him being nicknamed 'The Blind Venetian'. He only made four appearances for United and one of them resulted in a heavy 5-0 defeat to Chelsea, he was transferred to Reggina in 2000 and it wasn’t a minute too soon for the Red Devils fans.
2. Juan Sebastian Veron
In 2001 Manchester United acquired the Argentinean midfield playmaker for a record fee of £28.1 million from Italian side Lazio. He was a big signing for United fans, as they had seen his star displays in a Lazio shirt. The midfielder had trouble adapting to the pace of the English game, as he wasn’t allowed the same space and time on the ball that he was given in Serie A. There were questions asked about his temperament, as he was label lazy and in the end his performances resulted in him being offloaded to Chelsea in 2003 for half the record fee.
3. Diego Forlan
When Diego Forlan arrived at United in 2002 from Club Atlético Independiente for £6.9 million, he was rated as one of the hottest young South American strikers, when left he was labelled ‘Diego Forlorn’. This harsh nickname was given to him after it took him 27 games and eight months to score his first goal for the club. He only scored 10 goals in 63 Premier league appearances. In 2004 the Uruguayan was transferred to Spanish La Liga side Villarreal, where he has became a regular scorer and a star player.
4. José Kléberson Pereira (Kleberson)
Manchester United signed Brazilian World Cup winner Kleberson in 2003 from Atletico Paranaense for a fee of £6.5 million. The signing came after Luis Felipe Scolari had declared that the midfielder was the driving force behind the 2002 World Cup win. Unfortunately the Brazilian suffered an injury in only his second game and struggled to make an impact at all in his 28 appearances. After just two years at the club, the player was sold to Besiktas and has never recaptured the form which made him a World Cup winner.
5. Eric Djemba-Djemba
The Cameroonian midfielder signed for United in 2003 for a fee of £3.5 million from French club Nantes. The player was seen as an ideal eventual replacement for Roy Keane, but couldn’t become a regular first team starter for United in a team that was changing fast. It became obvious to fans and coaching staff alike that Djemba-Djemba would never be good enough to replace the Irishman. He left for Aston Villa in 2005.
Although the five listed above are down as bad signings, they are not the only poor signings that Sir Alex has made, the likes of the insane Fabien Barthez, the goal-shy David Bellion and the very unlucky Alan Smith. There was also the highly overrated Liam Miller who struggled to live up to his huge label as a hot prospect and the highly unlucky Dion Dublin, who only made twelve appearances in two years at Old Trafford scoring two goals.
Written by Phil Mellor, a football writer who blogs about Manchester United at Truly Reds
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