May 18, 2022






There was numerous discuss this week about legendary gamers at Manchester United after Roy Keane named his all-time Premier League XI.

It’s honest to say there have been quite a lot of greats to have donned the well-known United colors. Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Keane himself to call only a few.

However United have had their fair proportion of whole flops, too. They might have the ‘Class of 92’ to look again on, but there was the notorious summer season of 2003, the place Alex Ferguson seemingly misplaced the plot within the switch market.

Three of the ‘Class of 03’ characteristic in our rundown of the worst XI to grace the United crew within the Premier League, in addition to an notorious Italian goalkeeper, a centre-back who stayed on the membership for seven years and a striker whose switch stays as baffling now because it was again in 2008. 

Right here, Sportsmail takes a have a look at the gamers who’re remembered for all of the fallacious causes.

Roy Keane (2R) played with some legendary figures at United... but also his fair share of flops
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Roy Keane (2R) performed with some legendary figures at United… but additionally his fair proportion of flops

He named his best ever Manchester United XI this week... but who would make the worst?

He named his finest ever Manchester United XI this week… however who would make the worst?

Goalkeeper – Massimo Taibi

When you had been to ask United followers for the worst goalkeeper they’ve ever seen within the shirt, nearly everybody would plump for this hapless Italian. He was the excellent candidate for this prized position.

Taibi, who value £4.5million, had a torrid time at Previous Trafford and was as soon as dubbed the ‘blind Venetian’ by an Italian newspaper.   

His title has change into synonymous with the notorious howler he made towards Southampton in 1999, the place he let a meek, weak shot from Matt Le Tissier comically slip below his legs and into the web. Taibi solely ever performed another sport for the membership, a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea. Ouch.

Massimo Taibi cost United £4.5m but was once dubbed the 'blind Venetian' by a newspaper

Massimo Taibi value United £4.5m however was as soon as dubbed the ‘blind Venetian’ by a newspaper

Proper-back – Guillermo Varela

Who, you may understandably ask? The Uruguayan was meant to comply with within the footsteps of South American counterparts the Da Silva twins however, whereas they had been a ray of sunshine on the membership, Varela was a whole dud.

It’s little marvel Varela, David Moyes’ first signing as United boss in 2013, made simply 4 appearances in 4 years at United, the place he spent extra time on mortgage than at Previous Trafford.

He ultimately returned residence in 2017 – 4 years too late for a lot of United followers. Varela remains to be taking part in in Russia for Dynamo Moscow.

Centre-back – William Prunier

Prunier has the undesirable tag of being maybe the worst United signing of all time. Ferguson is lauded for his work within the switch market however this French ‘defender’ resides proof he didn’t all the time get it proper.

He joined from Bordeaux as a trialist in 1995 and was not anticipated to characteristic within the first crew too typically, however an damage disaster compelled Ferguson’s hand.

It really began nicely for Prunier, however he has been held liable for the 4 targets United shipped to Tottenham Hotspur in his second and final look for the Crimson Devils. A whole catastrophe.

William Prunier has been widely labelled as the worst signing Sir Alex Ferguson ever made

William Prunier has been extensively labelled because the worst signing Sir Alex Ferguson ever made

Centre-back – Marcos Rojo

By far the longest-serving Crimson on this highly-coveted facet, the bullish Argentinian someway managed to cling on at United for seven years and remarkably solely left final summer season.

You would solely watch Rojo on the ball from behind the couch, and that’s ignoring his tendency to fly into tackles with no care on this planet. Erratic doesn’t do him justice.

Rojo performed in additional than 120 video games for United and received three trophies – if, like Jose Mourinho, you depend the Neighborhood Protect – throughout his time there. However he by no means actually established himself and will have left the membership lengthy earlier than he fell by the exit door.

Left-back – Alexander Buttner

Sadly, Buttner is one other instance of Ferguson getting it hopelessly fallacious.

The Dutchman was presupposed to be a alternative for Patrice Evra however proved a traditional instance of a defender who merely couldn’t defend.

Buttner will not be precisely held in excessive regard amongst United followers, with some labelling him as some of the terrible gamers to have received a Premier League title with the membership. And there are not any scarcity of candidates for that individual honour.

Alexander Buttner was hailed as Patrice Evra's long-term replacement but it just didn't work

Alexander Buttner was hailed as Patrice Evra’s long-term alternative however it simply did not work

Proper midfield – Gabriel Obertan 

Obertan was one of many arrivals signed utilizing the cash generated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s sale to Actual Madrid however was clearly out of his depth at Previous Trafford.

The Frenchman grew to become the poster boy for individuals who felt – maybe rightly – that United and Fergie had wasted the Ronaldo money. 

An injury-hit spell at United included only one aim and one help in 19 appearances earlier than he was ferried out to Newcastle, who stored him on their books for 5 years for some unknown purpose.

Centre midfield – Kleberson

Hopes amongst United followers had been excessive when he arrived in 2003 after Luis Felipe Scolari, Brazil’s supervisor on the time, claimed the midfielder was the primary title on his teamsheet forward of the likes of Ronaldo.

That startling opinion couldn’t have been farther from the reality, judging by his two-year stint at Previous Trafford.

It was not solely accidents that led to the Brazilian taking part in solely 20 video games in two seasons for United. Most supporters nonetheless have no idea what he may really do and, fortunately, that can ceaselessly stay a thriller.

Kleberson was signed amid much fanfare, in particular from then-Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari

Eric Djemba-Djemba... so good they named him twice? Not quite

Kleberson (left) and Eric Djemba-Djemba (proper) had been two midfield flops at Previous Trafford

Centre midfield – Eric Djemba-Djemba

So good they named him twice? Not fairly. Djemba-Djemba is one other who hails from the weird early 2000s interval, the place the membership signed gamers even probably the most astute followers of world soccer had by no means heard of.

Purchased in an try to exchange Roy Keane’s growing older legs, the Cameroonian joined similtaneously Kleberson and was equally woeful, failing to ascertain his place within the facet earlier than transferring to Aston Villa, the place he additionally struggled.

Honourable mentions for midfield on this hallowed XI embrace Rodrigo Possebon – who briefly had a chant sung about him to the tune of Give it Up by KC and the Sunshine Band – Luke Chadwick and Zoran Tosic.

David Bellion never fulfilled his potential after arriving from Sunderland in 2003

David Bellion by no means fulfilled his potential after arriving from Sunderland in 2003

Left midfield – David Bellion

A little bit of a fudge right here however we needed to discover a place for this spectacularly unremarkable French ahead, the third consumption from the much-maligned ‘class of 2003’.

Bellion was thought of a promising younger expertise when he left Sunderland for Previous Trafford however to say he by no means fulfilled it – both at United or elsewhere – can be an enormous understatement.

It’s staggering that Bellion made as many as 40 appearances below Ferguson earlier than returning to his native France.

Ahead – Bebe

Bebe’s £7million transfer to Previous Trafford is presumably probably the most weird signing in United’s historical past – so unusual that it was even investigated by the Portuguese police.

There’s not an incredible deal to say about Bebe apart from he’ll go down within the annals of switch historical past at United – and never for the precise causes.

United followers can not assist however smile every time his title is talked about. No matter was Fergie considering?

Bebe's £7million signing was so bizarre it was even investigated by the Portuguese police

Bebe’s £7million signing was so weird it was even investigated by the Portuguese police

Ahead – Manucho

The Angolan was supplied a three-year deal after a profitable trial in 2008, with Ferguson and his workers reportedly impressed with the way in which he dealt with the physicality of the likes of Nemanja Vidic in coaching.

However following a wrestle acquiring a piece allow, and after getting back from a mortgage spell in Greece, Manucho went on to play simply 42 minutes for United throughout three substitute appearances.

Whereas he can’t be blamed for his work allow points, it’s honest to say Manucho was not sorely missed when he left Previous Trafford. 

The total XI… 





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