Manchester United have confirmed that they have agreed on a deal with Ajax for winger Antony.
The trickster represents the club’s second-most expensive signing of the window, coming in for an £84million fee. United are no stranger to splashing the cash, but we thought we would take a look at ten of the dearest deals the clubs have made over the years – and see just how those players fared during their time at Old Trafford.
From worst to best, here the Daily Star ranks the top ten most expensive players to ever play for United.
READ MORE: Antony could land legendary Man Utd shirt number as options for jersey become clear
The Frenchman had left to Juventus as a youth but four years later, in 2016, he made the world-record £94.50m return to Old Trafford.
And his price is part of the reason that he makes the top of this list as United’s most expensive flops.
The Frenchman played well in certain games, and that was, in fairness, to the club’s own detriment as they thought the player could improve when actually he was not up to scratch.
Take last season for example: against Leeds on the opening day of the Premier League, he made four assists, which kept his head above water for the next few months where he played poorly and did not replicate such form.
Pogba is now back in Turin after moving on a free.
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Angel Di Maria
Coming in for a significant £67.50million in 2014, Angel Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid with huge expectations.
The Argentine had been one of the best players in the 2014 World Cup after all, with his country finishing runners-up and the winger being a key figure.
Di Maria wasn’t terrible for United initially – enjoying seven goal involvements after ten games. But things soon went downhil – and a supposed fallout with the manager Louis van Gaal saw him make the switch to Paris Saint-Germain after just one year in the Premier League.
United have had their blushes slightly saved after Romelu Lukaku made the £97.5million move back to Chelsea in 2021, where he flopped tremendously last campaign.
But there is no getting away from the fact that the Belgian striker moved to Old Trafford from Everton for a mouth-watering initial £75 million, plus £15 million in add-ons, in 2017 and was equally dour.
Some 27 goals in his first season weren’t bad by any measure, but the following campaign saw him net just 15 in 45 matches – not quite enough for a marquee striker playing for United.
He was shipped off to Inter Milan in 2019, where he thrived.
Arrived from Monaco for a fee that had the potential to rise to £54million, Anthony Martial was set to become the next big thing in 2015.
His debut against Liverpool compounded this notion, with his brilliant solo goal going down in Premier League folklore.
And the Frenchman did well at times with some decent games but his inadequacy in front of goal ultimately saw him become a peripheral figure on the sidelines.
Jadon Sancho was one of the hottest prospects in Europe when he was playing for Borussia Dortmund.
A young, silky winger with an eye for goal., surely he would be the answer to United’s woes.
A year-long saga finally manifested in Sancho being snapped up by the Premier League giants in a deal worth £76.5million in 2021.
It was a very tepid first year for Sancho, struggling to find form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and even Ralf Rangnick. The hope is that with Erik ten Hag, things can be a bit different. There is still time.
United reached an agreement to sign Fred for a reported fee of £47million from Shakhtar Donetsk. The idea was that he was going to be the marauding, dogged midfielder that the club have been crying out for.
But Fred has been capricious in form, at times playing with the zeal required for a club the size of United, but for the most part, been an underwhelming addition. His partnership with Scott McTominary – affectionately known as McFred – has been used as an indictment of just how far the club have fallen from grace.
For some, Harry Maguire has become an embodiment of everything wrong with United.
Being a captain, he’s felt the full brunt of criticism from some supporters, while his mistakes on the pitch are often Gifed and circulated on social media.
But the £78m defender has shown, at times, that he is more than capable. In particular, in the 2020/21 season he was one of the best players in the side, as United finished runners-up in the Premier League.
Though Maguire certainly isn’t worth the money United paid Leicester City for him, he’s still a quality Premier League central defender.
Huzzah! United finally did it. They brought in a holding midfielder to protect the backline. Casemiro is a trophy-laden dogged player, whose grit and determination could only be a good thing for United.
Many have pointed to his age and the fact that Real Madrid were willing to sell ( £60 million, plus £10 million in add-ons). But it can not be lost just how long it’s taken for United to bring in defensive cover in the middle of the pitch.
There is no getting away from the fact that £84million is a large amount for Antony.
But the saga involving Frenke de Jong – Erik ten Hag’s number one target – meant that United had to move the earth and bring in his second target at all costs.
Antony will light up the Premier League. A dazzling winger with all the heart required to shape up United’s attack. Only big things can be expected from the Brazil ace.
Arguably the greatest January signing in recent history, Bruno Fernandes arrived from Sporting Lisbon as a somewhat unknown name, even if he did cost a hefty £67.6 million.
But he has been worth every penny, netting 12 goals in 22 in his first season after moving to Manchester in the winter, while scoring 28 goals the following campaign.
Last season wasn’t his greatness, but that could be said of the entire United side in fairness.
The Portugal internatioanl represents our pick as United’s best player to come in for megabucks.
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