All Ed Woodward’s Man Utd signings ranked as Fernandes makes instant impact

Manchester United's transfer business has been a mixed bag since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson – and that's being kind.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been widely criticised for his dealings in the transfer market, spending big money on several big names who failed to be the right fit.

Since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club have shifted their approach, looking to young, British players in a bid to change the culture of the club.

January arrival Bruno Fernandes has made an instant impact after his big-money move from Sporting Lisbon – but just where does he rank amongst all the signings made since Woodward took charge?

Here's a full round-up and ranking of all the 30+ signings made since Ferguson's exit back in 2013.

32) Guillermo Varella/Saidy Janko/Sadiq El Fitouri/Vanja Milinkovic-Savic/Nathan Bishop/Regan Poole

None of the youngsters signed with an eye on the future made a first team impact at Old Trafford.

Guillermo Varella had the honour of being Manchester United ’s first signing after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson but made only four appearances.

All have now moved on to unremarkable things, minus Bishop, who signed from Southend in January, but it is far too early to cast any judgement on the young goalkeeper.

31) Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria was supposed to be the signing to catapult United back into title contention. Instead, he became synonymous with the reckless and misplaced spending which blighted Ed Woodward’s early years.

Signed from Real Madrid for a then-British record fee of £59.7million and handed a five year deal, the Argentinian lasted just one season and scored only three Premier League goals in the famous No.7 shirt.

To make matters worse, he impressed on his return to Old Trafford with Paris Saint-Germain last season to rub salt in the wounds.

30) Radamel Falcao

Like Di Maria, Falcao was meant to be the catalyst to turn things around for United.

Instead, his loan spell highlighted the notion the Red Devils have become a place for Stars to fade.

He scored just four goals in 29 total appearances as his £6million loan from Monaco turned sour and he headed back to France.

29) Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger arrived at Old Trafford with high hopes of steadying the ship in midfield.

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent the German legend had seen better days.

He was seemingly delaying the inevitable as he picked up a big wage at Old Trafford, playing just 18 Premier League games before heading to Chicago Fire in the MLS 18 months later.

28) Morgan Schneiderlin

United turned to Premier League rivals Southampton to tempt them to part with Morgan Schneiderlin for £25million.

Unfortunately, he proved to simply not be up to the standard of the Red Devils.

Fortunately, they did manage to recoup most of the fee they paid when he was offloaded to Everton in 2017 after two miserable seasons.

27) Alexis Sanchez

He has been shipped off to Inter Milan, but United are still counting the cost of Alexis Sanchez.

He joined in a swap deal from Arsenal as they beat off Manchester City to secure the services of the Chilean.

But the Red Devils paid Sanchez astronomical wages, which were repaid with only three Premier League goals before heading on loan to Serie A with the club still paying a large portion of his wages to cut their losses.

Another disastrous signing in the No.7 shirt, too.

26) Lee Grant

Signed as third-choice goalkeeper, Lee Grant has played just two games for the club.

Still, that was to be expected and he has made an impression in the dressing room as a senior figure, by all accounts.

25) Memphis Depay

A source of huge frustration for United, Memphis Depay clearly had potential.

There was much excitement when he arrived and took the No.7 shirt.

But he lasted just 18 months, failing to show his ability after his £26.3million move before returning to Lyon, where he has emerged as a star performer to rub salt in the wounds.

24) Victor Valdes

Signed on a free transfer, the experienced Valdes made just two appearances for United.

He made little impact on the pitch but was likely a good influence on David De Gea and cost nothing after leaving Barcelona .

23) Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The other part of the swap deal which landed Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was only marginally more successful at Old Trafford.

Signed from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3million with high hopes, he failed to build on a promising start to his United career.

He made a limited impact despite a hefty fee and whilst Sanchez didn't work out, offloading Mkhitaryan was hardly a major loss.

22) Timothy Fosu-Mensah

There is still time for Timothy Fosu-Mensah to make a bigger impact, but at this stage it looks unlikely.

He signed as a youth prospect from Ajax, soon making it into the senior squad and making his Premier League debut in 2016 against Arsenal.

But he has failed to kick-on, spending time on loan at Crystal Palace and Fulham and failing to impress since returning to Old Trafford in the summer.

21) Matteo Darmian

Darmian had his moments but never really established himself as a Manchester United first-team regular.

The full-back wasn't quite up to the required standard but was a safe pair of hands who put in some solid displays before leaving to join Parma last summer.

20) Sergio Romero

Goalkeeper Romero is considered one of the best back-ups around, and he proved a shrewd piece of business.

His impact is limited but he provides a reliable option to give David De Gea a rest from Europa League action and keep the Spaniard on his toes. A good addition on a free transfer.

19) Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo fell out of favour during his later days at United before heading back to Argentina in January.

He did spend three years as a regular in the heart of defence, and whilst sometimes considered unreliable there is some value placed on his performances early in his Red Devils career.

18) Diogo Dalot

The jury is still out on Diogo Dalot.

The club spent big money to sign the talented youngster from Porto in 2018 and he showed plenty of potential in his debut season.

The arrival of Aaron Wan-Bissaka seems to signal a move further forward and after an injury-plagued season he is looking to carve out a more attacking role.

17) Fred

Six months ago, Fred would have been right towards the bottom of this list.

He endured a miserable first season after his £47million move from Shakhtar Donetsk and looked set to be a flop.

But he has turned things around in recent weeks, stepping up during the absence of Scott McTominay to show signs he has finally got to grips with the Premier League.

16) Marouane Fellaini

Often a source of frustration for fans, Maraoune Fellaini did manage to make an impact at Old Trafford.

Whilst he was often considered a symbol of their decline, David Moyes' first major signing did have his moments.

He made over 100 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils and lasted six seasons before heading to China last year.

15) Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku was quickly shipped out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was clearly not a fan of the striker.

He had his faults – but his goal record at United is not to be sniffed at despite criticism for not scoring enough in big games.

Lukaku scored 28 goals in just 66 Premier League games for the club, including 16 to fire them to second place in the 2017/18 campaign.

His ability to regularly score against the teams outside the top six was perhaps more valuable than many realised at the time, and he did go some way to repaying the huge £75million fee paid to land him from Everton.

14) Daley Blind

Blind was underappreciated at Old Trafford but was a safe pair of hands.

The versatile Dutchman filled into a number of positions after his £13.8million move.

He returned to Ajax in 2018 but not before he had helped United beat his former club to win the Europa League in 2017.

13) Eric Bailly

Eric Bailly has struggled with injuries since being signed from Villarreal by Jose Mourinho.

But his talent is clear and his impressive return from injury against Chelsea suggests he will have no problems fitting in under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Could he be the long-term answer alongside Harry Maguire at the heart of United's defence?

12) Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic has always had a habit of following Jose Mourinho – and it was the Portuguese boss who brought him to Old Trafford in the summer of 2017.

Whilst his influence at the club has now diminished, he was crucial to United's early success under Mourinho and that should not be forgotten.

He is likely to depart in the summer and has seen better days, but his contribution has been valuable nonetheless.

11) Daniel James

Daniel James was a left field signing when he arrived from Swansea for £12million last summer – but the Welsh youngster is symbolic of Solskjaer's change in approach.

He remains a work in progress with his tough spell in recent weeks highlighting he has some way to go to be up to the expected standard of a United first-team regular.

But his early performances showed his raw potential and he has remained a reliable, hard-working member of the front-line who has rightly become popular amongst fans. An encouraging start.

10) Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw has had an injury-plagued spell since United won the race to sign the left-back from Southampton for £30million in 2014, making him the most expensive teenager in history at the time.

He has experienced peaks and troughs but it is easy to forget he won their Player of the Year award in 2018/19, albeit after a tough season for the club.

Shaw is still only 24 and now carving out a new role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks to have his best days ahead of him.

9) Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Signed on a free transfer, big-name addition Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his presence felt at Old Trafford.

He came with big wages but scored 28 goals in all competitions, a useful return for an ageing player over the course of two seasons.

8) Paul Pogba

Manchester United's record signing has never been far from the headlines.

Despite missing most of this season through injury and being criticised for going missing at times, there is no doubting he is United's most talented player and has been a valuable presence on the field.

But, given his price tag, it would be fair to expect more – and the public criticisms of the club from agent Mino Raiola cast a shadow over his time at the club as a summer exit looks increasingly likely.

7) Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Signed for £50million from Crystal Palace last summer, Wan-Bissaka has made a solid start to life at Old Trafford.

He has been a regular in the side at right-back and all signs point to him becoming a key player for years to come.

He has a hefty price tag hanging over him and needs to work on elements of his game going forward, but he currently looks like a good bit of business.

6) Juan Mata

Mata is now amongst United's longest-serving players having signed from Chelsea in January 2014.

He is no longer considered a regular in the starting line-up but there is no doubt he has been a useful performer in recent years.

The playmaker is a key figure in the dressing room and signed a new two-year deal in June last year which ensures he will be considered amongst United's best signings of a difficult era.

5) Ander Herrera

He took some time to get going, but Ander Herrera grew into a crucial player for United.

The Spaniard was a mainstay in the side by the time he departed on a free transfer for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

His absence in midfield was felt early in the new season and, after playing well over 100 Premier League games, he can be considered amongst United's better signings under Ed Woodward after his move from Atletico Bilbao for around £30millon in 2014.

4) Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes is only a few games into his Manchester United career, but what an impact he has made.

The Red Devils finally got their man, caving in to pay a big fee to Sporting Lisbon in a risk that currently looks set to pay off.

He has brought leadership to United's midfield as well as creativity and positivity which was badly missing in the first half of the season.

3) Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof has been something of an unsung hero since his move from Benfica for around £30million in 2017.

Not one to often receive plaudits, the Swede has quietly been a model of consistency at the back and was a calming presence during tough times.

He's still only 25 and looks set to have a lengthy career at United after being boosted by the arrival of Harry Maguire alongside him.

2) Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial's price tag raised eyebrows as the relatively unknown Monaco prospect became the world's most expensive teenager for £58million.

He has been under the spotlight since that big fee and has been criticised for inconsistency.

But he has still delivered over 50 goals for the club – a number which looks set to continue rising as he plays a key role as a focal point of United's attack moving forwards.


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