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5 Superstars who flopped at Manchester United

Let's take a look at such players who flopped at Manchester United, the club which has been one of the powerhouses of English Football

Anubhav Bajpeyee
Last updated: 22.11.2018
5 Superstars who flopped at Manchester United | Sports Social Blog

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Manchester United traditionally has been one of the powerhouses of English football. Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, they have been the most successful club in the premier league.winning 13 titles out of 26 available.


Manchester United traditionally hires only the best players, either superstars of potential superstars to play for them. Though some superstar players signed by United have failed miserably. Let's take a look at five such players.

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5.Bastian Schweinsteiger




The retirement of Paul Scholes saw United's midfield shout out for a new midfielder. After the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the new manager David Moyes bought Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini could not prove his mettle at the club and was deemed a flop signing.


In 2015, Louis Van Gaal after analysing the situation realised that United midfield did need a midfielder for the central position. In came Bastian Schweinsteiger, the German Captain. Schweinsteiger had won the World Cup with the German national team a year ago. Schweinsteiger was bought for €9 million. He became the first German to play in Manchester United's first team.


On papers, Manchester United and Bastian Schweinsteiger were a partnership made in heaven. A club in dire need of a world class midfielder gets one.


However, sometimes even the perfect matches are not as perfect as they first seem. Schweni struggled from the first day. His struggles with his fitness made it difficult for him to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. He had disciplinary issues and served a 3 match ban for striking the throat of Winston Reid, his West Ham United counterpart during a match. He could score just 2 goals in the 35 games.


On arrival of Jose Mourinho, He was pushed out of the United first team. He practised with the under 23 team in order to regain his form and fitness. But unfortunately, some dreams are not meant to be. He was shipped off to the MLS for a free transfer where he played with Chicago fires.


4.Radamel Falcao



​The summer transfer window of 2014 was about to end. United had already sealed the signing of a world class winger in Angel Di Maria. United fans were not expecting any new signings. Suddenly, an announcement from various leading newspapers left United fans elated. Manchester United had signed Radamel Falcao.


Radamel Falcao nicknamed 'El Tigre' in his native land was a World class striker. He in his previous stint had almost single-handedly won the Europa League with Athletico Madrid in 2012.


He signed at an initial £6.84 loan fees for the year. United who were already blessed with the dynamic duo of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie as forwards saw this as an exciting opportunity to become the most potent attack in Europe.


His debut was marked by rapturous applause from the club's supporters as they continuously chanted his name while he was warming up and when on the field. Falcao was known for his shooting skills and his awareness in the opposite box.


Something though was off when he played for United. He almost forgot his traits when at Manchester United. Falcao had endured an ACL injury during his stint at Monaco. He clearly was not 100% fit when he signed for United. That made him sloppy in the box. He soon started losing supporters off the pitch due to his on-field performances.


He could score only 4 goals in the 29 games which were very disappointing by his lofty standards. His debut goal came in his 4th game. His failure was a huge setback for the club and for him as well, as many deemed him to be the next focal point of United's attack. After a disappointing season, his loan was cancelled and he returned to his parent club Monaco.


3.Diego Forlán



Manchester United had high hopes of him

Diego Forlán's transfer to Manchester United was one of the most controversial in the early 2000's. He was a bright prospect in South American Leagues. During his stint at his last South American club Independiente, he scored 36 goals in 77 matches and gained a reputation for being a clinical striker. This is where he caught the eyes of European clubs.


In January transfer window of 2002, he was bought by Middlesbrough for a £9.9 million and he flew to England hoping for further negotiations with Middlesbrough officials. This is where United manager Sir Alex Ferguson swooped in and offered the same amount to Independiente and a higher salary to Forlan. On arriving, he had a 4-hour long negotiation with United officials and was snatched away by United from the jaws of Middlesborough.

He was young and had huge potential whereas in Sir Alex Ferguson United had a Manager who was a master in the craft of getting the best out of youth prodigies. This increased the hopes of United fans and in Forlan, they saw someone who would rule their hearts and the game of football for decades to come. Moreover, the way he was signed by United gave all rival fans a scare over his potential.


Though, Forlan was highly talented but had never played outside South America and found it difficult to adjust to the pace and physical game played in England. As a result, he struggled. The forward could not score for 13 premier league games and 5 champions league games.


He scored 17 goals in the 98 games. He was deemed a flop. He started to find his lost form during the end of the second season at United but it was a case of too little too late for him. He was shipped off to Villarreal at the end of his second season at £2.88 million a sum partly of what United bought him for.


2.Juan Sebastián Verón



​Juan Sebastián Verón was a supremely talented player. He had immense strength with the ball and terrific awareness of it. He was one of those players to seemed to be at the right place at the right time and seemed to produce a potent strike at any time and always available to deliver a killer pass. Also with Parma and Lazio, he had won 6 trophies in his previous 3 seasons. He was the perfect modern midfielder.


All this made Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson break the bank for him as he was bought for a whopping € 42.60 million breaking the then record of highest transfer fees by an English club. He started off on a bright note scoring 3 goals in his first 4 starts, also winning the Player of the month award.

As the season progressed though, his fatigue started to show. He wasn't able to adjust to the pace of premier league as he wasn't awarded enough time on the ball to create his magic. He soon started to fade. He could only score 11 goals and assisted another 10.


Sir Alex Ferguson was still convinced with his signing and even went to the length of abusing press when he was being tagged as a flop. In a famous statement, the coveted manager said "

Veron is a f******* great player,” he once told a critical press conference, “and you lot are f****** idiots.”

The critics and fans alike tagged him as an expensive flop. He was shipped off to Chelsea for €21.50 million.

1.Angel di Maria



Manchester United have had a long history of iconic players donning the number 7 jersey. From Eric Cantona to Beckham to Ronaldo. So when Angel Di Maria, a superstar who was in some corners of the footballing world was being touted as the real hero of Madrid's La Decima Champions League title signed for United in a record-breaking deal worth £67.50 million he naturally was awarded the number 7 jersey.

Angel Di Maria is an attacking player who could torment any opposition with his raw pace and dribbling ability. He was the preferred choice to take the legacy of jersey number 7 forward. United bought him with the intention of strengthening their wing play. He came with much fanfare to the club and was touted as the next hero of United.


He started on a bright note scoring and assisting in the same game and winning the player of the match award against QPR in his third game of the season. Di Maria won Manchester's player of the month award in September.


However, In September things took a nasty turn. United manager Louis Van Gaal used him as a false nine in a game against Southampton which coincided with a run of bad form. He was criticized by the United manager and his confidence took a hit. Thereafter his form started to decline drastically.

He did not fit into the ideology of Louis Van Gaal who had a more pragmatic approach to the game whereas Di Maria game was based on attacking play. He lacked the defensive intent in his game. This difference in the ideology created a friction between him and the manager which resulted in him being dropped.


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