Sir Alex Ferguson's 10 Worst Signings As Manchester United Manager

Phil ConstableCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson's 10 Worst Signings As Manchester United Manager

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    No one is doubting that Sir Alex Ferguson has done an amazing job as Manchester United manager; however, when you manage a team for that long, you're bound to make some mistakes in the transfer market.

    I've already done my 10 best Fergie signings, so to bring a bit of balance, here is my list of the 10 worst players to ever come to Old Trafford.

    As with the 10 best signings, I'm sure you have your own inclusions to the list, so feel free to tell the guys I've left off who deserve their place on the wall on shame. 

Massimo Taibi

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    Taibi was signed in 1999 from Venezia to replace Peter Schmeichel. The great Dane spent eight years at Old Trafford, the hopeless Italian lasted just four games.

    On debut against Liverpool, he made an error at a free kick, allowing Sami Hyppia to score. Taibi then saw five go past him in a humiliating defeat to Chelsea.

    Taibi's most memorable moment, however, undoubtedly came at home to Suderland, as Matt Le Tissier's weak shot rolled harmlessly towards the Italian's goal. Taibi, in his ballet-like tight trousers, kneeled down to collect the ball. Only problem was, he didn't. The ball squirmed between his legs and into the back of the net.

    To this day, it is one of the most horrific—and at the same time, hilarious—moments in recent football history. Ferguson never let him back onto the field and he was quickly unloaded to Reggina.

    I can't get the the video to load onto this page, but if you want to see the howler, you can check it out here at 1:33:


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    He was signed, as you can see, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. I think it's fair to say their careers ended up taking slightly different paths.

    Kleberson was signed as a replacement for the useless Jun Sebastion Veron and, unfortunately, he was equally terrible.

    The Brazilian impressed in his role in helping Brazil to glory at the 2002 World Cup, and Ferguson was quick to swoop in, paying £6.5m for his services. He never could keep up his international form, however, and within two years he was sold to Besiktas for less than half his original transfer fee with only 20 appearances to his name. 

Eric Djemba-Djemba

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    So good they named him twice, right? Wrong.

    The Cameroonian was signed for £3.5m and was seen as being the natural replacement for Roy Keane. Well. let's compare the two. Roy Keane: 12 years, 300 games, inspirational captain. Eric Djemba-Djemba: two years, 20 games, sold to Aston Villa for £1.5m, where he was just as bad. 

David Bellion

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    Sir Alex saw what Thierry Henry was doing at Arsenal and thought, "I want a piece of that action."

    The relationship between player and club was doomed from the start: United were alleged to have tapped up the Frenchman and were forced to pay £2m compensation to Sunderland.

    It remains a mystery why Ferguson was so desperate to sign him. Bellion scored once in 20 games in the northeast and stayed on pretty much the same pace in the northwest.

    After Ferguson realised his mistake, Bellion was loaned (shopped) around before Nice agreed to take him off their hands.

Diego Forlan

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    There's no doubting that at Villareal and Athletico Madrid, Diego Forlan has proven that he's one of the elite strikers in the world; however this isn't about what he's done since, so let's concentrate on when he was one of the laughingstocks of the Premier League.

    After he impressed at Independiente, Ferguson bought the Uruguayan to Manchester for £6.9m in January 2002; however, he didn't score his first goal until September, and that was only a penalty. Forlan went goalless in his first 29 games in Manchester and never really recovered.

    His form did eventually begin to pick up, but his record of 17 goals in 95 games just didn't cut it and he left for Spain in 2004.  

Juan Sebastian Veron

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    Manchester United did win a Premier League with Veron in midfield, but he never justified the £30m paid for him.

    He only spent two years in Manchester, struggling to adapt to the Premier League, and Sir Alex Ferguson must have thought he'd committed daylight robbery when Claudio Ranieri offered £15m to take him to Chelsea.

Alan Smith

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    In 2004, Sir Alex spent £7m on a talented young striker called Alan Smith from Leeds United after they went into administration; in 2007, he sold an average central midfielder for £6m to Newcastle called Alan Smith.

    Smith scored seven goals in 70 games and never fulfilled his potential as the next great English striker. He's since improved in midfield, but for the promise he showed at Leeds when he first signed, Smith was a huge disappointment.


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    The book is by no means closed on the Brazilian's career at Old Trafford, and he is still only 22, but after the way he's started his United career, it'll take quite something for Anderson justifying the £20m spent on him.

    He's had injury problems and has struggled to break into the first team, sitting behind the likes of Scholes, Fletcher and Carrick in Sir Alex's pecking order.

Gabriel Obertan

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    This spot was very much up for grabs, but I've gone with Obertan and here's why.

    First, when you look at him, he's only 21. The guy looks about 50, he must have smoked 20 a day since he was born. Anyway, back to the football.

    Ferguson spent £3m on the Frenchman and for that he's shown pretty much nothing. He only plays in meaningless games, and when he does play, there's never really any threat that he'll do anything. He has a lot to do if he wants to stay at the club

Ralph Milne

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    Who? Well, this is the guy Ferguson himself recognises as being the worst signing he's ever made, despite only costing £170,000. Milne was so bad that he never played football in Britain again.

    Here's what Fergie had to say on the matter, "I only paid £170,000 for him but still get condemned for it." For this reason alone I can't leave him off the list. 

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