Where are they now? Manchester United’s last 20 January signings

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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 20 January signings, featuring some big hits and terrible misses.

Louis Saha

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.

READ: Louis Saha: A brilliant striker, but never better than when at Fulham

Nemanja Vidic

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.

Patrice Evra

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.

Patrice Evra celebrates

READ: How Patrice Evra succeeded Gary Neville as Man Utd’s hated hero

Henrik Larsson

“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.

After a second spell in charge of Helsingborg ended after just two months in 2019, he is now working as an assistant coach to Ronald Koeman at Barcelona.

READ: Remembering Henrik Larsson’s brief loan spell at Manchester United

Manucho

Not quite on the same level as Larsson, Manucho scored just once for United before joining Real Valladolid in 2009.

Now 37, the striker retired after leaving Spanish third-tier outfit UE Cornella in 2019.

Rodrigo Possebon

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.

Zoran Tosic

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 33-year-old spent three years back at Partizan Belgrade, the club from whom United originally signed him, before joining Chinese side Taizhou Yuanda in 2020.

Ritchie De Laet

Continuing the proud tradition of United prospects to play for Royal Antwerp.

READ: Where are they now? The 29 players Man Utd loaned to Royal Antwerp

Anders Lindegaard

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.

Paul Scholes

Brought out of retirement in January 2012, Scholes is now working as a pundit but recently had a brief spell as Salford City’s caretaker manager.

Freddie Veseli

Signed from rivals Manchester City, Veseli never made a first-team appearance for United but has carved out a career bouncing between Serie A and Serie B with Empoli and Salernitana.

Wilfried Zaha

“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.

Wilfried-Zaha-Manchester-United

READ: 11 players who did nothing at Man Utd but shone after leaving

Juan Mata

Still going. Still lovely. Still got a wonderful left foot. Still quite slow.

Victor Valdes

If you thought Valdes’ time at Manchester United was strange, the former Spain goalkeeper was sacked as Barcelona Under-19 boss after just 80 days.

He’s now the manager of Spanish fourth tier side UA Horta.

Sadiq El Fitouri

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.

READ: What became of Sadiq El Fitouri, signed by Man Utd on Paul Scholes’ advice

Andy Kellett

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 27, he is currently playing for National League North side Guiseley.

Alexis Sanchez

Oh dear.

Bruno Fernandes

He’s done alright.

READ: Seven remarkable Bruno Fernandes stats from his first year at Man Utd

Odion Ighalo

After Marcus Rashford suffered a back injury in January 2020, United turned to Ighalo with a last-gasp deadline day loan move.

Despite scoring five goals in 11 cup appearances, the striker has since fallen behind Edinson Cavani in the pecking order and his loan spell won’t be extended beyond January 2021.

Amad Diallo

The latest player to join United, Diallo only made five senior appearances for Atalanta before completing a £19million move to Old Trafford.

“Amad has looked really comfortable and he’s settled in really well in training,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Manchester United’s official website in January 2021.

“It shows how technically adept he is and, of course, we’ll give him time to settle and adjust. But hopefully, we can see him on the pitch in not too long. He’s definitely done well in training.”


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