Manchester United have consistently pulled off some of the most outrageous transfer fees in the Premier League in the last couple of years. And these investments have ended in mixed results.
United is one of the biggest football clubs in England and the most successful team in the Premier League. The club surely knows how to attract the best players in the transfer market.
The success in the EPL made Man Utd a global brand which also influenced the club’s financial power leading to the acquisition of top players on the continent.
Year after year, the Premier League has continued to evolve in many areas: competition, investment in players and a high standard of play. And to keep up with the level of competition, the club have continued to spend heavily on players.
So who are the most expensive players in Manchester United history? In 2016, United broke the bank to secure the services of Paul Pogba for £94.50m. Other notable players include Harry Maguire, Romelu Lukaku and Bruno Fernandes.
If Antony joins according multiple sources, he’ll be ranked among United’s most expensive signings.
Manchester United most expensive signings
11. Lisandro Martínez – (£51.63m, from Ajax Amsterdam in 2022)
Arguably one of the best players at Ajax, Lisandro Martínez finally fulfilled his dream move to Man United after the English club agreed to splash £51.63m to secure his services from the Dutch club.
And after a few games into the new chapter with United, Martínez now commands a starting shirt with a significant impact on the team’s performance. The Argentine could most likely become a success at Old Trafford in the new project led by his former coach from Ajax.
Martínez has the character, techniques and ability to change the face of any team he plays for. Although one of the areas often discussed regarding his performance had been his physicality. However, he had shown to be a quality addition.
He is also effective in ball clearance and making interceptions with an 89% accuracy per game.
10. Fred – (£53.10m from Shakhtar Donetsk)
Quite effective during his time at Shakhtar Donetsk, Man United signed Fred for £53.10m. The Brazilian had a perfect career in Ukraine, winning three domestic league titles and one Cup trophy.
But how has Manchester United’s career been so far? Fred began showing his spark of brilliance in a few games despite a stuttering start after he arrived at the club. And three years after his debut, he’s been excellent at positioning when receiving the ball.
Fred plays a more direct style to be involved in advanced roles moving forward. He remains a popular figure in the United midfield, consistently pulling the best performance when needed.
9. Anthony Martial – £54.00m
Having an excellent career in the French Ligue 1 with AS Monaco, Anthony Martial landed in England following the £54.00m price tag paid by United. The French star was tipped to be the ultimate replacement going forward due to his pedigree as one of the most outstanding talents.
Martial did light up Man United’s attack with some flashes of brilliance and scored important goals when needed. He’s, however, not played to the level many had expected him to reach.
Albeit, Anthony Martial remains a core part of the Man United project and surely brings his A-game from time to time.
8. Bruno Fernandes – (£56.70m from Sporting CP in 2020)
Arguably one of the most significant signings at Man United in the last decade, Bruno Fernandes had an immediate impact at Man United in his first season. The Portuguese star was the main asset that drove Gunnar Solskjaer’s era at the club.
Fernandes, known to be a box-to-box midfielder, was excellent in spot kick and did most of the goal-scoring duties in the first two seasons when United lacked a quality goal scorer moving forward.
One grey area for Fernandes is a missing silverware even though he came close to achieving it during the UEFA Europa League 2020–21 final loss to Villarreal.
Fernandes took the bull by the horn, coupled with his impressive leadership skills to help the team’s overall strength since his arrival. Not to forget, in a hurry, it would not be easy for him to sweep out of the mind of many United fans.
7. Casemiro – (£63.59m from Real Madrid in 2022)
Although some had seen this not so prudent, the Brazilian is a quality addition who can perform at the highest level of football.
Casemiro is one of the most decorated footballers. The Brazilian has five UCL trophies at Real Madrid and coupled with his wealth of experience. He could be a deciding factor in the midfield for Man United.
He also left his mark on the world football stage as one of the greatest Real Madrid players, often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle By Carlo Ancelotti. The latter successfully won the La Liga and Champions League with Casemiro as a core part.
He joined United to solve the midfield woes and was expected to be integrated fully with the first team as many adjustments could be made due to his arrival.
6. Ángel Di María – £67.50m
Ángel Di Maria leaving Real Madrid during his peak surprised many. The Argentine was the main headline of the 2014 FIFA World Cup that saw his country finish runner-up in the competition.
Maria was an instant impact taking up the role of a central forward at Man United. He was an outstanding player who immediately won the hearts of many United fans following his form in front of goal (with seven-goal involvement) after ten games.
However, the reign of Di María at Old Trafford did not finish as expected after he made the switch to Paris Saint-Germain after just one year in the English top flight.
5. Romelu Lukaku – (£76.23m from Everton FC in 2017)
Romelu Lukaku moved to Manchester United for a hefty sum of £76.23m. The Belgian had a decent career at Everton, where he finished second in the Premier League top scorers chart and recorded many individual successes.
A new chapter and challenge, Lukaku had mixed outcomes throughout his stay at Manchester United and wouldn’t be seen as a complete drawdown.
4. Jadon Sancho – (£76.50m, From Borussia Dortmund in 2021)
Jadon Sancho became one of the most courted players on the European transfer market following Man United’s insistence on his choice of transfer. The young Englishman finally sealed the move to Old Trafford after an agreement worth £76.50m with Borussia Dortmund.
Sancho had broken many records as a youngster in the German Bundesliga, coupled with his incredible speed. United was compelled to secure his services by any means.
But Sancho is yet to reach the peak of his career at Manchester United compared to his pedigree in the German top flight, even though he could not get the opportunity to play in his first season. However, there’s more time for improvement as Sancho could become a decisive factor for the club.
3. Harry Maguire – (£78.30m, from Leicester City in 2019)
Man United signed Harry Maguire for another club-record fee of £78.30m to make him the most expensive defender in world football, surpassing the initial record held by Virgil van Dijk.
Maguire quickly positioned himself to be one of the key players in United’s defense in the first three seasons at the club. But he subsequently produced some horrible performances that affected his place in the first team.
Albeit, Harry Maguire played a crucial role during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s era at the club and cannot be forgotten in a hurry by most United fans for his contribution to the team.
2. Antony – (£85.50m, from Ajax Amsterdam in 2022)
Man United splashed £85 on Antony, who had been insisting on the Premier League club to be his primary destination. The Brazilian is among the most outstanding players and was an essential player at Ajax.
He joined Ajax in 2020, winning two Dutch league titles and one Dutch Cup trophy.
Antony is a player who can establish an impenetrable midfield. His technical abilities make him quite valuable in many areas, including making successful dribbles with a 50% success rate. He is a good scorer using his powerful left foot.
1. Paul Pogba – (£94.50m from Juventus in 2016)
United completed the signing of Paul Pogba for a club record fee of £94.50m to make him the club’s most expensive signing in history.
The Frenchman was on his second stint at Old Trafford after departing the club back in 2011.
His first season was a hit as he won the League Cup and the Europa League. Subsequently, he was named to the PFA Team of the Year at the end of the 2018–19 campaign.
Pogba had an impact at the club but not at the level many had expected compared to his exploits at Juventus.