Manchester United don’t often dip into the January market, but the window has provided them with a number of successful signings through the years (and some admittedly dogsh*t buys, too).
United have not relied on the January window as much as other Premier League clubs, perhaps due to such mixed fortunes in the transfer market at this time of year.
We’ve taken a look back at the club’s last 17 January signings, featuring some big hits and terrible misses.
Injuries prevented Saha from consistently producing his best at Old Trafford, but the striker still recorded double-figure goal campaigns in the two seasons he managed 30+ appearances.
Saha retired in 2013 after a brief spell at Lazio that everyone has forgotten, and now occasionally appears in the media.
Vidic may have retired in 2016 following a disappointing spell at Inter, but we’re still absolutely certain he’d beat the sh*t out of us.
A definite success story on this list, Evra can now be found bravely sitting between Roy Keane and Graeme Souness in the Sky Sports studio, most recently checking what Souness was drinking after yet another impassioned rant.
“On arrival, he seemed a bit of a cult figure with our players,” Sir Alex Ferguson said after Larsson’s loan spell at Manchester United ended. “They would say his name in awed tones. Cult status can vanish in two minutes if a player isn’t doing his job, yet Henrik retained that aura in his time with us.”
The striker may have been at Old Trafford for just three months, but he made a big impact.
Now working as a manager, a second spell in charge of Helsingborg ended after just two months last year, and he was recently linked with the Southend job, only for talks to collapse.
Not quite on the same level as Larsson, Manucho scored just once for United before joining Real Valladolid in 2009.
Now 36, the striker left Spanish third-tier outfit UE Cornella last summer.
Once a highly-rated prospect, Possebon was last noted leaving Vietnamese outfit Ho Chi Minh City after just one month after failing to impress.
He’ll always have those eight appearances for United though.
While Tosic failed to make an impact at Old Trafford, the winger carved out a decent career at CSKA Moscow after leaving the club, winning three Russian titles.
The 32-year-old returned to Partizan Belgrade, the club from whom United originally signed him, in 2017.
Continuing the proud tradition of United prospects to play for Royal Antwerp.
Finally playing regular first-team football at Helsingborg, it seems an awful long time ago Lindegaard was briefly usurping David de Gea as United’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Brought out of retirement in January 2012, Scholes is now back working as a pundit after a brief spell as Oldham boss.
Signed from rivals Manchester City, Vaseli never made a first-team appearance for United but has carved out a career bouncing between Serie A and Serie B with Empoli, becoming an Albania international in the process.
“I went through so much with United, with England,” Zaha told Shortlist in 2018. “There were rumours that the reason I wasn’t playing for United was because I slept with David Moyes’s daughter, and no one attempted to clear that up. So I was fighting my demons by myself, these rumours that I knew weren’t true.
“I was dealing with this at 19; living in Manchester by myself, nowhere near anyone else, because the club had a hold over where I lived. They hadn’t given me a car, like every other player. Nothing. I’m living in this hell by myself, away from my family, and I thought, ‘If this doesn’t make me stronger, what will?’”
Given he has since thrived back at Crystal Palace, Zaha can be considered the one that got away for United.
Still going. Still lovely. Still got a wonderful left foot. Still quite slow.
If you thought Valdes’ time at Manchester United was strange, the former Spain goalkeeper was recently sacked as Barcelona Under-19 boss after just 80 days.
OFFICIAL: Victor Valdes has left his role as Barcelona's 'Juvenil A' coach.
Reports suggest the ex-goalkeeper has fallen out with academy director, Patrick Kluivert. pic.twitter.com/qmd4NV31JP
— Goal (@goal) October 7, 2019
El Fitouri was signed from Salford City in January 2015 after being recommended by Phil Neville.
“This minute I saw him, I thought, ‘This kid can play,’” Neville said in the documentary Class of 92. “There’s something mystique about him – he has a bit of swagger. Sometimes you get a gut feeling on a player and I had it.”
The defender failed to break into the first team at United, dropped down the leagues to join Chesterfield and has since spent time in Libya, Romania and now Sudan, where he plays for Al-Hilal Omdurman.
Another strange signing, Kellett arrived at Manchester United on loan from Championship outfit Bolton in January 2015.
The midfielder was set to join Plymouth and thought Bolton boss Neil Lennon was “winding him up” when he found out about United’s interest.
He made 10 appearances for the club’s Under-21s, rather awkwardly losing in the semi-final of the Manchester Senior Cup to his parent club Bolton.
Now 26, he is without a club after leaving Notts County in the summer after failing to appear for the non-league outfit in the opening weeks of the season.