Manchester United Football Club
Nickname – The Red Devils
Best PL finish – 1st (13 times, most recently 2012/13)
Manchester United are the most successful team the Premier League has ever seen. There’s not even any doubt about it. The Red Devils have won the title a staggering 13 times, which is 8 more than Chelsea, who are second on that list.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side dominated the competition, with a crop of players who could win any game. The likes of Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, and others carried the United badge for many years. Their last title came back in 2012/13, which was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge.
Since then, they have not hit the heights of past, and their best finish was second, which they achieved last season. Still, with the stature of the club, one wouldn’t expect the same to continue in the near future.
Top 5 Record Transfer Fees (as of 04/02/19):
- Paul Pogba – £89 m (from Juventus – August 2016)
- Romelu Lukaku – £75 m (from Everton – July 2017)
- Angel Di Maria – £59.7 m (from Real Madrid – August 2014)
- Fred – £47 m (from Shakhtar Donetsk – June 2018)
- Anthony Martial – £36 m (from Monaco – September 2015)
(Figures include initial fees in GBP at the time of the transfer, as reported by the BBC unless specified otherwise)
Biggest flop – Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria became United’s record signing in 2014 when they splashed £59.7 to bring him over from Real Madrid. A certain James Rodriguez was on his way to Madrid, and someone had to make way. It’s fair to say that Di Maria found life hard in England, and he could not take it after a year.
He found it hard to adapt to the climate, language and other social aspects of life in Manchester. The performances on the pitch reflected the same, and he could only score 3 goals in 20 league appearances. The ability was clearly visible, but he could not produce it on a consistent basis.
Di Maria signed for Paris Saint-Germain after a year, and he has found his touch in France. The Argentine was another player who failed to live up to the Manchester United ‘Number 7’ shirt.
Biggest bargain – Peter Schmeichel
Sir Alex Ferguson labeled Schmeichel as the “bargain of the century”, and rightly so. The Danish goalkeeper was signed by Manchester United in 1991 from lesser-known Brondby who played in the Danish Superliga. The fee shelled out was just £505,500, which was enough to secure the services of one of the greatest goalkeepers the Premier League has ever seen.
Schmeichel played for 8 seasons at Old Trafford, lifting 15 trophies in the process. The best of it came in 1999 when United clinched the treble in dramatic circumstances. He left United in for Sporting Lisbon thereafter but not before cementing his Premier League legacy. Schmeichel kept a clean sheet in 42% of the games he played at United, which is an astounding number. A true Premier League legend.
Records and Trivia
- Anthony Martial became the costliest teenager in 2015 after his £36 m move, but he has been eclipsed by Kylian Mbappe since.
- Juventus paid a training compensation price of £800,000 to United for Paul Pogba in 2012, only to receive £89 m in return for the Frenchman in 2016.
- Antonio Valencia is the longest serving player at the club, and he is in his thirteenth season at the club now.