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Look at him now: Manucho and Manchester United

Look at him now: Manucho and Manchester United

Manucho…ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (x10).

Honestly, what were Manchester United thinking when they signed Angolan Striker Mateus Alberto Contreiras Gonçalves?

With all due respect to (*checks notes*) Girabola, or Campeonato Nacional de Futebol em Séniores Masculinos, Angolan football is hardly a breeding ground of phenomenal talent. In fact, we’d struggle to name two players off the top of our head that have hailed from that part of the footballing world, and that’s counting Manucho.

However, Ferguson being Ferguson – that is, a man who made some fairly questionable purchases in his time as United boss – he took a punt on him anyway, for better or for worse.

Now, before anyone brings it up, yes – we understand he scored a few goals in the African Cup of Nations. But seriously, how often has buying the player off the back of a successful major tournament worked?

Anyway, we digress.

While we don’t want to be too sceptical of Ferguson and the way he handled incoming signings, the former United boss did seem to be playing a game of ‘buzzword bingo: transfer edition’ when he introduced his latest acquisition, Manucho.

We believe his exact words were, “tall, agile, quick forward” (tick, tick and…tick – that’s a line, games master).

Adding, of course, as a precautionary measure, that he had been brought to his attention by Carlos Queiroz months before.

Unfortunately, whoever his sources were (we suspect the same ones that recommended Ali Dia to Southampton) Manucho managed just three abysmal appearances for Manchester United before it became abundantly clear that he didn’t possess the quality necessary to challenge Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez or Louis Saha for the starting spot.

And so began his journey elsewhere.

A loan spell at Hull City saw him net twice in 17 appearances, which is a huge improvement on his zero goal tally at parent club United. But, against all odds, this was still not enough to earn him a place with the Red Devils. Who’d have thought?! Standards at United were far different back then, hey.

Real Valladolid eventually came in for the player with a three million euro bid, though he failed to impress (again) before being loaned out to two Turkish top-flight clubs, Bucaspor and Manisaspor. You guessed it, both moves didn’t go particularly well.

After years with up-and-down side Rayo Vallecano, where he scored just 15 goals in 119 appearances, Manucho is now stealing a living a third-tier outfit, UE Cornella.

And if it interests you, his record currently stands at one in 16. This man played for Manchester United, remember.

Manchester United fans, what are your standout memories of Manucho? Where does he rank as one of your worst ever signings? Let us know in the comments below!

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