Bundesliga

Gary Neville claims Manchester United have made just one successful big-name signing in ten years

Gary Neville claims Manchester United have made just one successful big-name signing in ten years

Gary Neville has claimed Bruno Fernandes is the only high-profile signing to have lived up to expectations at Manchester United in the past ten years.

It has been a hugely frustrating season for United, who sit eighth in the Premier League heading into the final week of the season and are in real danger of missing out on European football entirely.

Erik ten Hag’s future at Old Trafford is in doubt, even if he does lead the club to victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final later this month, while a number of United players have also faced criticism for the dreadful performances.

Casemiro has attracted much of the attention since the 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday night, having produced a disastrous display when filling in at centre-back alongside Jonny Evans.

However, Neville opted against singling out the Brazilian, instead pointing to a long-term pattern of players struggling to produce their best after arriving at Old Trafford.

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes has shone at Old Trafford since his arrival in 2020 (Getty Images)

“I think over the last 10 years, there’s only be one player that United have signed that I think has actually lived up to expectations, or achieved what he has previous, and that’s Bruno Fernandes,” Neville told The Overlap.

“All the other big signings, whether it’s [Angel] Di Maria, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Radamel] Falcao. Whether it’s [Paul] Pogba, whether it’s [Harry] Maguire, [Mason] Mount this season, [Raphael] Varane, every player.”

It is an issue that has been drawn into greater focus by Jadon Sancho’s impressive form at Borussia Dortmund, with the winger playing his part in the Bundesliga side reaching the Champions League final.

Sancho rejoined Dortmund on loan in January, having been an outcast at United after falling out with Erik ten Hag earlier this season. The 24-year-old made the move to United from Dortmund for £74million in 2021, but scored just nine Premier League goals over two seasons.

“Jadon Sancho, he was awful at United, he was awful. Let’s be clear,” Neville said.

“His performance levels, his confidence, his belief. He goes to a different team, and all of a sudden, you start to see a player, where you think, ‘How has that happened, why is that happening time and time again?’

“Players with great reputations come into Old Trafford and they just don’t work. And they come back out, and they’re normal again. It’s probably happened for 10 years.”

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