Diogo Dalot believes his Portuguese compatriot Bruno Fernandes will become a Manchester United legend.
Speaking to the club’s official podcast he said, via Sky Sports, “he’s a top guy, a top player. He is going to be a legend, no doubt about that. He’s unbelievable.”
We certainly hope Dalot’s words come true and they caused us to look back at United’s recent transfer history to see who were the last three signings who went on to achieve things at Old Trafford which made them legends.
The dwindling investment from the Glazers near the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign and Ed Woodward’s shambolic transfer policy means one of our selections was signed as long ago as 2006.
Honourable mentions go to Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Juan Mata for becoming cult heroes after signing for the Reds, but we’re talking about bona fide club legends here.
Robin van Persie – Signed 2012
Having lost out on the Premier League to Manchester City on goal difference in stoppage time, Sir Alex Ferguson produced a big response in the transfer market.
Van Persie was signed from Arsenal for £24 million (BBC) and achieved legendary status within one season at Old Trafford.
Leaving Arsenal in the ruthless pursuit of trophies immediately endeared van Persie to United’s fans before he almost single-handedly sealed the club’s 20th top flight title.
He netted 26 league goals in 38 appearances as United wrestled their crown from City in Ferguson’s final season in charge. A truly sensational signing.
David de Gea – Signed 2011
Edwin van der Sar announced his intention to retire midway through the 2010-11 season, giving Ferguson plenty of time to scout the Dutchman’s successor.
It had been a struggle to replace Peter Schmeichel but the Scot got it right first time with de Gea, who he signed for £18.9 million (BBC).
The Spaniard was exceptionally skinny when he first arrived but even during those early months when he was being bullied at set pieces, his shot-stopping excellence was clear for all to see.
De Gea is the only player who has performed with consistent excellence throughout the tumult which has followed Ferguson’s arrival.
There have been matches and seasons where it doesn’t bear thinking about where United would be without de Gea’s heroics.
He deserves legendary status for performing at a world-class level – becoming the world’s best for a time – during an incredibly tough period in United’s modern history.
Michael Carrick – Signed 2006
In 2006, a Chelsea side inspired by Jose Mourinho and powered by Roman Abramovich’s rubles had just powered to back-to-back Premier League titles.
Pressure was building on Ferguson. More intense than it had been since United won their first title back in 1992.
His only signing that summer was Michael Carrick, for £18.6 million (BBC), from Tottenham.
Carrick took over Roy Keane’s number 16 shirt and although many initially thought United had overpaid, the Englishman was crucial alongside Paul Scholes as the Reds reclaimed their title that season.
He anchored the midfield throughout a ludicrously successful spell for the club, scooping five Premier League titles and a Champions League under Ferguson.
Latterly, he added the FA Cup and Europa League to his collection under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho and now sits on the club’s coaching staff.
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