Neville: Only one Man Utd signing in last 10 years has lived up to expectations

Manchester United legend Gary Neville
Manchester United legend Gary Neville. Photo by Shutterstock.

Gary Neville has blasted Manchester United’s post-Ferguson signing strategy, singling out Bruno Fernandes as the sole transfer success amid numerous high-profile failures.

Neville’s comments come amidst Jadon Sancho’s resurgence at Borussia Dortmund, where he has played a pivotal role in propelling the club to its first Champions League final since 2013.

Sancho’s revival follows a disappointing stint at United, where he managed only 12 goals and six assists in 82 appearances after his £73 million move in 2021.

Despite criticisms of United’s handling of Sancho, Neville contends that his underperformance is part of a broader trend of significant acquisitions not meeting expectations at Old Trafford, rather than a specific failing of the club’s management of the player.

“You talk about an example of Manchester United, and we’ll come on to United in a bit, but Jadon Sancho, he was awful at United, he was awful. Let’s be clear,”  Neville said on The Overlap, who many regard as the best football podcasts around.

“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.”

He added: “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.

“I can’t think of another signing that has gone onto excel at the club. Luke Shaw, to be fair, when he’s been fit, has played at a high level, I think, and grown from where he was maybe at Southampton – you could maybe argue that.

“But 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 – why is it that Jadon Sancho can come in, then all of a sudden just go back there [and succeed]?”