Harry Kane next? Man Utd’s last 9 over-30 signings and how they fared
Manchester United are reportedly targeting England captain Harry Kane to be their next star signing – but how is their recent track record with signing older, more experienced players?
Kane will turn 30 in the summer. He recently became both England’s and Tottenham’s all-time top goalscorer and is on track to beat Alan Shearer’s famous Premier League record if he spends the rest of his career in England, but he’s yet to win a trophy – so would he and United be a good fit?
We’ve gone back through the years and picked out the last nine over 30 signings they made and judged how they have done since.
Note: we have only included permanent signings and players who made at least one first-team appearance.
The Brazilian midfielder came for a hefty price tag in the summer considering his age, but he has more than justified it so far. Casemiro has been just what United have been missing in the middle.
Of course, he hasn’t been without a blunder or two. His disciplinary record for example could do with sharpening up, but overall he has proven to be an excellent signing so far.
“Casemiro is magnificent,” Erik ten Hag told the club website. “In front of the back line, always taking good positions, in and out of position. And he can deal with the ball, he can give the right pass.”
Following a successful stint with Brentford, United picked up Eriksen on a free transfer in the summer of 2022. The Danish midfielder has also been a hit at Old Trafford, producing nine assists so far.
An ankle injury has hampered his game time of late, but overall United fans can’t have many complaints about the 31-year-old.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was a bit of a mixed bag. His first season back at the club was certainly a success from his point of view as he scored 24 goals and ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer.
But that season United registered a record-low Premier League points tally and the fact it came with an ageing Ronaldo as the focal point might not have entirely been coincidental.
Things turned sour in his second season and he didn’t pull any punches on his way out of the club. Still, it can’t be said he didn’t deliver some memorable moments in his second stint.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 18, 2022
The story of Heaton is quite a heartwarming one. After being let go by the club as a youngster, Heaton build himself back up with the likes of Burnley and Aston Villa to then re-sign for United 11 years later.
Since his arrival in 2021, Heaton has made three first-team appearances but has often acted as the second or third choice in goal.
The Uruguayan’s first season at the club was a joy to watch. His cleaver movement and link-up play made him an instant hit at Old Trafford as he scored 17 goals in his first year.
His second season wasn’t quite as successful as injuries hampered his game time, along with Ronaldo taking his starting place. Considering he arrived on a free transfer, this was a decent bit of business overall.
On his 36th birthday, any excuse to share this worldie at Old Trafford.
Edinson Cavani.. 👏
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) February 14, 2023
The goalkeeper spent four seasons at Old Trafford but made just two appearances in that time. Signed from Stoke City as a third-choice goalkeeper, Grant did the job by just being there.
Still going strong at 41, Ibrahimovic has aged like a fine wine. The charismatic frontman joined in 2016 and was a roaring success with the United faithful.
He scored a total of 28 goals in his first season, including a brace in the League Cup final against Southampton. The forward won three trophies during his spell in Manchester, including the Europa League which was his first ever European title.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 27, 2017
“I enjoyed it so much at United,” the German midfielder told the club website.
“I remember everything quite well and like so many nice personalities, team-mates, players with the right heart and obviously the supporters are amazing as well. Unfortunately, the second season was a little bit more difficult.”
Schweinsteiger won the FA Cup with United and was utilised under Louis van Gaal during his first season, but he could never match the form he’d shown for Bayern Munich and Germany and was promptly moved on by Jose Mourinho.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper had a short stint at Old Trafford which saw him make just two appearances. He was signed as a back-up to David De Gea and spent just one – not especially memorable – season with the club.