Dybala next? The six players Man Utd have signed from Serie A since 2000

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Manchester United are being heavily linked with a swap deal that would see Romelu Lukaku join Juventus with Paulo Dybala and possibly even Mario Mandzukic moving to Old Trafford.

We’ve taken a look at the last six players the Red Devils have signed from Serie A to see how their imports from Italy have generally fared.

Note: we’ve not included players initially signed for the youth team, so Davide Petrucci and Federico Macheda miss out. Sorry.

Paul Pogba

We’re not exactly sure how to sum up Pogba’s second spell at United since he was re-signed in a world record transfer three years ago.

The midfielder has undoubtedly been very good at times, and he’s undoubtedly not been very good at others.

We’d like to say the truth is maybe in the middle then, but that’s not a very #hottake.

Matteo Darmian

It’s probably not a good sign when you’ve been linked with a move back to Italy in almost every transfer window since you joined.

Sergio Romero

We almost forgot all about this one, yet signing Romero on a free transfer from Sampdoria in 2015 has been a decent bit of business for United.

The Argentina international is firmly behind David de Gea in the pecking order but is still one of the better second-choice goalkeepers in the Premier League, and he even kept a clean sheet in the 2017 Europa League final victory over Ajax.

Anyway, we’ve only just seen this story about how Romero initially wore the No.20 at Old Trafford, and it’s another nice anecdote on Louis van Gaal.

“There was a misunderstanding between myself and the manager, Louis van Gaal,” Romero told the club’s official website. “He asked me what squad number I wanted, and I said 22.

“But he must have thought I’d said 21 because he told me if I wanted that number, I would have to go and speak with Ander Herrera. Anyway, it turned out Nick Powell had recently changed to 22, so I just said that No.20 would do fine.”

Giuseppe Rossi

Rossi was only 17 when he joined United from Parma in 2004 but was immediately involved with the first team, making two League Cup appearances in his maiden campaign.

While he was clearly a talented player, Rossi struggled to become a regular due to some of the illustrious names in attack ahead of him, and his career has sadly been decimated by injuries despite proving his class at Villarreal.

He was at least invited to train back at United by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this year, which was nice.

Juan Sebastian Veron

Often judged as a flop at United after arriving for a British record £24.3million from Lazio in 2001, hindsight has allowed Veron to be viewed more kindly in retrospect.

While the midfielder undoubtedly struggled to recapture his Serie A heights, he still produced some memorable moments, particularly in Europe.

After watching Veron’s debut, Nicky Butt recalled: “I was suspended against Everton. He played and I sat there and I thought, ‘I’ll never play for United again, that’s me done, I’ll have to get a move.’

“Veron was the best player I’ve ever seen, except Cantona. In training he was like something I’d never seen.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, was much more straightforward after facing questions about Veron’s quality from the press: “He is a fucking great player. And you’re all fucking idiots.”

Laurent Blanc

Fergie wanted to sign Blanc in 1996 but had to wait until 2001 before he landed the defender, by which time he was 35 and too old really, if we’re being honest.

He did win the Premier League in his second season, though, and we really enjoy the fact people were keen to point that the first five teams United lost to in the league with Blanc spelled out his surname: Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

It was probably the Illuminati.


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