One of the most prized team’s in world football, Manchester United has featured some of the best players the world has ever seen including the likes of Ronaldo, Giggs, and Scholes. Without further adieu, here’s our list of the top Manchester United signings of all-time.
Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for £12.24m in 2003
Undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers of all-time, Cristiano Ronaldo signed for a transfer fee of £12.24m to Manchester United in 2003 to replace David Beckham. He won his first Ballon d’Or at the age of 23 after an astonishing 2007-08 season with the Red Devils which saw the club win a treble of trophies including the Champions League, the Premier League title, and the FA Cup. Ronaldo left for Real Madrid the following season for a record transfer of £80 million.
Eric Cantona from Leeds United for £1.2 million in 1992
The French striker Eric Cantona signed with Manchester United from Leeds United for £1.2m and changed the course of Red Devils history. According to the short story, Alex Ferguson spontaneously called Leeds United looking to sign a defender Dennis Irwin but also managed to snag Cantona. The forward helped Manchester United win five Premiership titles and two FA Cups, and kick-started Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure from an ordinary coach to among history’s greatest coaches.
Roy Keane from Nottingham Forest for £3.75m in 1993
Roy Keane captained the Manchester United side for eight years during Manchester United’s most successful period that saw the Red Devils win four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and a Champions League trophy. Praised for his leadership and grit, the Irishman was mired in controversy near the end of his career for openly criticizing his teammates.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from Molde (Norway) for £1.5m in 1996
In yet another Manchester United transfer bargain, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed for the Red Devils from an unknown club called Molde in Norway 1996 for a transfer fee of £1.5m. Earning the super sub-label and nicknamed ‘The Baby-faced Assassin,’ the striker scored 126 goals in 366 appearances off the bench, including the goal that won his team the 1999 Champions League final.
Rio Ferdinand from Leeds for £33.3m in 2002
Considered one of the best ball-playing defenders in the world during his prime, the dominant center-back played 12 years at Manchester United. He won the Premier League in his first year with the club in 2003, winning a total of 6 Premier League titles and a Champions League in 2008 to boot.
Wayne Rooney from Everton for £27m in 2004
Signing for £27m in 2004 from Everton, playmaker Wayne Rooney made an immediate impact by scoring an illustrious hat-trick to start his Man United career against Fenerbahce in the Champions League. Rooney went on to become United’s all-team leading scorer with 253 goals, winning16 trophies at Old Trafford, including five Premiership titles, the FA Cup, and the Champions League title in 2008.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy from PSV for £19m in 2001
Signed from PSV Eindhoven for £19m in 2001, Ruud Van Nistelrooy went on to play 219 games for United over a 5-year career where he scored an astonishing 100 goals in his first 3 seasons. He won Premier League player of the year in 2013 and helped the Red Devils win a Premier League title in the 2002-03 seasons followed by an FA Cup victory the following year.
Nemanja Vidić from Spartak Moscow for £7m in 2006
Signed in 2006, Nemanja Vidić spent eight years protecting the back for the Red Devils. During the 2008/09 season, Vidić helped Manchester United record 14 clean sheets in a row as he won his first of two Premier League Player of the Season awards. Strong and dependable, Vidić helped United win a bucket of trophies including five Premier Leagues and Champions League in 2008.
Peter Schmeichel from Brondby for £625,000 in 1991
Dubbed “the bargain of the century” by Sir Alex Ferguson, Peter Schmeichel signed to Manchester United from the Danish club Brondby in 1991 for £500,000. With an imperious goal presence and quick reflexes, Schmeichel turned out to be one of the all-time greatest goalkeepers. He won a Champions League, five Premiership titles, three FA Cups, and a League Cup during his tenure with the Red Devils.
Michael Carrick from Tottenham for £18.6m in 2006
Michael Carrick played an instrumental role in the Manchester United side that won the Double in 2008, both a Champions League and Premier League trophy. A midfielder for 464 matches, he demonstrated excellent anticipation and creative vision to help the Red Devils achieve a total of five Premier League titles in addition to a Europa League victory in 2016.
Bryan Robson from West Brom for £1.5m in 1981
Signed for £1.5m in 1981 from West Brom, Bryan Robson developed into the longest-serving captain in Manchester United’s history where he served for six years. Robson led the team in winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, three FA Cups, and the Premier League twice in the latter stages of his career.
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