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Manchester United have always been a big player in the transfer market. The history, the stature of the club, combined with the ability to spend big has meant they have always been able to attract the top cream of players from across the world. There have been many academy graduates at the club that have gone on and made it big, while the club has had to shell out some big amounts in the transfer windows as well.
Here we take a look at the most expensive Manchester United line-up of all time.
The Spaniard was brought in from Atletico Madrid in 2011 as a replacement for Edwin Van der Sar and after a difficult start to life in England, De Gea has grown into on of the best goalkeepers of his generation. Has made over 250 appearances for the club and is a pivotal part of the team.
One of the first signings of the Jose Mourinho era, Bailly arrived last summer from La Liga club Villarreal, and has become an instant fan favourite. At just 23, he has a bright future ahead of him and United may very well have struck gold with his capture.
A British record transfer back in 2002, Ferdinand arrived at Old Trafford from Leeds United and went on to become a club legend. The former England international was a wonderful servant for the club, and featured over 450 times, winning 6 league titles and a Champions League trophy among various other honours.
Signed only this summer from Portuguese champions SL Benfica, Victor Lindelof had been pursued by Mourinho for a long time. Got a glimpse of him in United’s pre-season game against LA Galaxy and he showed good signs of turning out to be a great piece of investment.
Manchester United snapped up Shaw from Southampton in the summer of 2014, making him the world’s most expensive teenager. Despite signs of great promise and potential, the England international has been heavily hampered by injuries in his tenure with the Red Devils. The coming season could very well turn out to be a make or break for him.
The Red Devils shattered all the records to bring back their prodigal son from Juventus last summer, after Pogba had left the club for free back in 2012. At the Old Lady, Pogba turned into one of the most devastating midfielders in the game, but has struggled to translate similar form since his return to United. Will need to start showing why United spent so heavily on bringing him back.
A deal that had the potential to put United on top of the English and European football, Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid in 2014 – a club record transfer at that time. But, having been constantly played out of position by then manager Louis Van Gaal, the structural and tactical rigidity under the Dutchman did not allow him to flourish and he departed a year later to PSG, where has prospered again.
Another arrival at the start of the Mourinho era, Mkhitaryan’s signing was met with a lot of positivity and expectations from the club. His debut season wasn’t exactly mind-blowing, but he played a crucial part in the Red Devils winning the Europa League and will look to build on it this time around.
One of the few memorable aspects of a forgettable one-year period under David Moyes, Mata has gone onto establish himself as a key member of the United squad since his arrival from Chelsea in January 2013. While many expected him to be shown the doors by Jose – who sold him to Man United from Chelsea, the Spaniard has toughed it out and has turned out to be a great piece of investment.
Arriving from AS Monaco in September 2015, Martial became the most expensive teenage footballer in the world. Became the darling of the United faithful when he scored a beautiful goal on his debut against arch-rivals Liverpool and went on to finish his first season as club’s top scorer. Found himself struggling last season under Jose, but with age on his side, he has all the talent and potential to become a United great.
Signed last week from Premier League club Everton, the Belgian striker arrives after a stellar campaign, scoring 25 goals and finishing as the second highest goal-getter in the Premier League. Can he fill in the big boots of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at United? Only time will tell.