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5 of Manchester United's Worst January Signings

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentDecember 19, 2016

5 of Manchester United's Worst January Signings

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    January is always a difficult month to do your shopping.

    Prices are often inflated and managers are sometimes accused of panic buying in a bid to save their season.

    That's not to say Manchester United haven't had a bit of luck in the January sales. Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, who have been regulars in United's defence for nearly seven years, arrived in January 2006.

    Swedish striker Henrik Larsson spent three months on loan at Old Trafford after signing in January 2007, helping United on their way to the Premier League title.

    Wilfried Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing when he put pen to paper in January 2012. He's endured a frustrating start to his United career but has already been capped by England.

    But as well as the success stories, United have also had some disasters since the January transfer window was introduced in England ahead of the 2002-03 season.

    Here, in no particular order, are some of the worst.

Dong Fangzhuo

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    United paid £500,000 to Dalian Shide for Chinese striker Dong Fangzhuo in January 2004. The fee could have risen to £3.5m if Dong had been a success at Old Trafford. But he wasn't.

    He made just one Premier League appearance in nearly four years before returning to Dalian Shide in 2008. He went on to play in Poland and Armenia, but now plays in the Chinese second tier.

    Still only 28, he's been capped 13 times by China, his last appearance coming in 2007.

Manucho

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Angolan striker Manucho arrived at Old Trafford in January 2008 after a trial organised by former United assistant Carlos Queiroz.

    After a loan spell in Greece with Panathinaikos, he returned to Manchester to make his one Premier League appearance for United as a substitute against Stoke.

    But he never managed to break into the first team and, after another loan spell at Hull, he left for Real Valladolid in 2009.

    Now 30, he was last seen in Turkey playing for Manisaspor on loan from Valladolid. 

Zoran Tosic

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    Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

    Serbian winger Zoran Tosic moved to Old Trafford from Partizan in January 2009 in a deal that should have also included Adam Ljajic until United pulled the plug.

    Tosic made two Premier League appearances in 18 months at Old Trafford—which also included a loan spell at FC Koln—before moving to CSKA Moscow in 2010.

    The 26-year-old scored against Manchester City in the Champions League this season and has racked up more than 50 caps for Serbia, scoring eight goals.

Ritchie De Laet

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Belgian full-back Ritchie De Laet signed a three-year deal when he joined United from Stoke in January 2009.

    But he only made three Premier League appearances at Old Trafford, one fewer than the loan moves he had to Sheffield United, Preston, Portsmouth and Norwich.

    In 2012, he left United to sign a three-year deal at Championship side Leicester. The 24-year-old has been capped twice by Belgium.

Frederic Veseli

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    Hong Wu/Getty Images

    Swiss-born defender Frederic Veseli was a surprise signing when he moved from City to United in January 2012.

    He didn't make a first-team appearance for City and didn't fare any better at United, leaving for Ipswich last summer with nothing but a few reserve games to show for his move across town.

    The 21-year-old has represented Switzerland from Under-15s to Under-21s, but is yet to make a senior international appearance.

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