Man United FC

Five Man Utd big-money signings who didn’t work out as Jadon Sancho to make transfer exit

Manchester United’s history is marked by the unfortunate trend of splurging on high-priced players who ultimately failed to meet their expectations.

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Jadon Sancho is merely the latest in a string of such players, and he is now poised to be offloaded for a significantly reduced fee after a rift with manager Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils have decided to cut their losses in the upcoming January transfer window.

Sancho joins a list of players who, like him, could not quite find their footing after making a big-money move to Old Trafford.

Let’s delve into the stories of five players who preceded Sancho down this path.

1. Angel Di Maria

  • Manchester United broke the bank to acquire Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for £59.7 million, a British club record at the time. The Argentine started impressively, earning the club’s Player of the Month for September. However, his form took a nosedive after October, managing just four goals during his single season at Old Trafford. He was subsequently sold to PSG. Although initially criticized as the worst signing of the season, Di Maria went on to win the World Cup.

2. Juan Sebastian Veron

  • United splashed £28.1 million, setting an English transfer record, to bring Juan Sebastian Veron to the club in 2001. His career in Manchester started promisingly, with an impressive September that earned him the Premier League Player of the Month. However, he soon struggled to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League and was eventually sold to Chelsea in 2003.

3. Alexis Sanchez

  • Alexis Sanchez arrived at United from Arsenal in January 2018 with an eye-watering £560,000-per-week contract. However, his tenure at Old Trafford turned into a nightmare as he scored just five goals in 45 appearances. Despite beating rivals Manchester City to his signature, Sanchez fell out of favor and was eventually transferred to Inter Milan in 2020. He expressed regret over his decision to join the Red Devils, citing concerns about the club’s atmosphere.

4. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

  • United paid around £30 million to secure Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, following his Bundesliga Player of the Year award. High hopes accompanied his arrival at Old Trafford, but he struggled to make a significant impact, scoring only five Premier League goals. Just 18 months later, Mkhitaryan was part of a swap deal with Arsenal, which brought Alexis Sanchez to Manchester.

5. Eric Bailly

  • Eric Bailly became the first signing of Jose Mourinho, joining United from Villarreal for £30 million in 2016. While he had a decent first season, his subsequent years were marred by injuries and a decline in performance. His struggles were evident, and even club legend Gary Neville publicly questioned his ability. Remarkably, Bailly was awarded a new contract in 2021, three years after Neville expressed doubts about his suitability for the club.

These stories of expensive signings who couldn’t fulfill their potential at Old Trafford serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by players who bear the weight of hefty price tags.

Sancho now finds himself navigating similar terrain, hoping to rediscover his form and success elsewhere.

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