Manchester United saw some of the most questionable and downright insane transfers we’ve ever seen, particularly under Sir. Alex Ferguson.
Indeed, it seems not even one of the most extensive scouting systems in the world could deter the great man from signing the likes of Quinton Fortune, David Bellion, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Dong, Floribert N’Galula, Manucho, Rodrigo Possebon, Obertan and, of course, Bebe during his time at the club.
There are so many travesties, in fact, that we tend to forget the stories of world-class players who got away. The talents who could have catapulted one of the most successful teams in European football into a whole new realm of infamy.
Even without the Sir. Alex at the helm.
Still, indicative of their fall from grace, it’s time to cast fans back to the days of post-Ferguson era Manchester United, we take a look at one man who could have made all the difference to David Moyes’ ill-fated career.
Cesc Fabregas, 2013/14
The Premier League’s second most prolific assist maker (111) behind Ryan Giggs could have brought his creative talents to Old Trafford if only the club were able to agree terms.
Speaking to BBC Five Live, Moyes said: “Cesc Fabregas, who I spoke to on the phone several times, was not sure of his place in the Barcelona team. I remember him saying to me ‘if I don’t start the first game at Barcelona then I’ll definitely be looking to join you’ and he started the first game at Barcelona.” (via Goal.com)
It was clear the club struggled without him that year.
With the dregs of Sir. Alex Ferguson’s legacy left behind, Moyes had to rely on the likes of Anderson, Tom Cleverly, Shinji Kagawa, an ageing Michael Carrick and new signing Marouane Fellaini to compensate for the absence of Fabregas’ technical wizardry.
Needless to say, it didn’t quite work.
Less than 12 months into his mammoth 6-year contract David Moyes was sacked to be replaced by interim manager Ryan Giggs who could do nothing to prevent Manchester United from completing their lowest ever finish (7th) since 1990.
In stark contrast, Cesc Fabregas would go on to win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one English League Cup before moving onto Monaco this January.
That’s more success than any Manchester United player has experienced since Fergie’s exit.
The one that got away.