Gary Neville claims only TWO of Manchester United’s signings in the last NINE years have been a success
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes only TWO of the club’s signings in the last nine years have turned out to be a success.
United have struggled to challenge for major honours since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager at Old Trafford at the end of the 2012-13 season.
The Red Devils have spent more than £1.25bn in transfer fees since his departure but are yet to win either the Premier League or Champions League since the legendary Scotsman called time on his managerial career.
They look set for another difficult season under new manager Erik ten Hag after suffering damaging defeats to Brighton and Brentford in their first two games of the new Premier League campaign, despite signing Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez this summer.
On Monday Night Football, Neville and his fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher collated all of United’s major signings since Ferguson’s departure – categorising them as green, amber or red to determine their level of success.
Of the 33 signings, only two – Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bruno Fernandes – were deemed to be successful.
Seven players – Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Harry Maguire, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo – were classed as amber, meaning they had been a moderate success at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, the remaining 24 players were all deemed to have been disappointing signings.
Ibrahimovic joined United on a free transfer in 2016 after leaving Paris Saint-Germain and would go on to score 29 goals in 53 games in his two seasons for the club, winning the FA Cup and Europa League while at Old Trafford.
Fernandes, meanwhile, joined United in a £47m move from Sporting Lisbon in January, 2020. He made an impressive start to his career in English football, scoring 12 goals in 22 games in his first six months at United.
He followed that up with 28 goals in 58 games in the following campaign, but struggled last season – managing only 10 goals in 46 games in all competitions.
Nevertheless, he is one of only two signings Neville believes has been a major success since Ferguson stepped down as manager.
Explaining his choices, Neville told Sky Sports: “One of the problems Manchester United have had for 10 years is that they’ve flip-flopped from managers, strategies and they’ve allowed managers to control recruitment, and that’s a massive issue.
“We think there’s only two signings at this moment in time that you can say have been good and performed at a decent level. You can argue that [Bruno] Fernandes has gone off the boil a little but the numbers that he hit in the last few seasons has worked.
“[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic worked. Amber: Herrera, Shaw – we debated over Shaw – Matic, we debated over Juan Mata who is in red but could’ve been in amber, Cristiano Ronaldo would’ve been green on last season but what’s happened in the last month in terms of he wants to leave, it’s a nightmare scenario, it’s not working.
“Seventy-five per cent of those signings are in red, they’ve not worked. Twenty per cent are an amber and only four (or) five per cent of signings, we think, have worked.
“That is a horror story from a recruitment point of view.”
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Sky Sports