The Premier League is widely regarded as the best league in the world. Why? Well, it’s highly competitive for one thing and it is a massive money-maker for online sportsbooks.
Still, more importantly it has regularly attracted the best players in the world, and they have been coached by the best managers in the world. One of them was Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and. whilst there is no doubting his legacy. it doesn’t mean he didn’t make some mistakes during his reign in charge of the Red Devils.
Here we are going to take a look at five of the biggest flops he bought to the club, who seemed destined to contribute to one of the greatest football teams in the world. Instead, they ended up on the Manchester United scrap heap.
In a Summer where lots of things have happened, and not happened, for Red Devils fans, here is a tad of nostalgia so that they can feel a bit better about the future of their team.
5 – DIEGO FORLAN
Ferguson paid out the best part of £10m to land Forlan from Argentinian side Independiente – coincidentally also nicknamed the Red Devils – but it took him 27 games to notch his first goal and it hardly opened the floodgates.
In 98 appearances he only scored 17, which is not enough for a striker at United. Fergie knew Forlan – who has announced his retirement recently – had talent and the long-haired Uruguayan proved it elsewhere. Particularly in La Liga where he netted 128 in 240 matches playing for Atletico Madrid. Clearly, he just wasn’t a fit for Manchester United.
4 – MASSIMO TAIBI
It was hard work finding a replacement for the legendary Peter Schmeichel and when Taibi arrived at Old Trafford it didn’t take long to realise he wasn’t fit to fasten the Danes’ gloves.
The Italian keeper was a free transfer, and, with hindsight, that still looks a tad on the expensive side! Taibi made just four appearances in England, conceded 11 goals and provided one of the Premier League’s most famous goalie bloopers. Matt Le Tissier, 30 yards and a daisy cutter squirming through Taibi’s legs – sound familiar?
3 – KLEBERSON
The Brazilian midfielder arrived in Manchester as a £6.5m World Cup winning recruit, which was seemingly good business, yet he left the club without barely making a mark. Kleberson cites injuries as a key reason for his failure at United but he hardly pulled up trees after moving on and spent most of his career split between his homeland and in the MLS, in United States.
All in all, Kleberson spent just two years in England featuring 20 times in the league.
2 – JUAN SEBASTIAN VERON
In July 2001 United forked out a then English record fee on Veron and, whilst he contributed far more than most on this list, the Red Devils never got anywhere near value for money.
Fergie backed his man with an expletive filled hairdryer towards the media when questions about Veron’s performances surfaced but the cracks couldn’t be papered over. Veron was without question a good player but – as supported by his spell at Chelsea – he couldn’t cope with the tempo of the English game and, ultimately, he was a very pricey failure.
1 – BEBE
£7.4m isn’t an astronomical fee but when you’ve never seen the lad play it seems a bit on the risky side but it’s exactly what Sir Alex did when signing Bebe, who, amazingly, is still only 29. What is more amazing is that Bebe was a forward, who was signed by Vitoria SC in the Portuguese top tier and he did not even manage to have a single minute in the team.
He was shipped in the same Summer to Manchester United, in what would be one of the weirdest signings ever. As expected, he delivered very little at United making only seven appearances. If it hadn’t been for Fergie’s admission about his scouting – or lack of – it’s quite possible the Portuguese wouldn’t even be remembered by fans of the English league.