Manchester United have endured a torrid time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and their haphazard recruitment has done little to close the gap.

But for all of the big-money flops, there have been some good signings made at Old Trafford too.

We took on the task of creating a best XI of players signed the legendary Scotsman called time on his managerial career.

We’ve gone with a 4-2-3-1 formation, and in some positions there was an easy choice, and in others, tougher, for instance – can you choose at right-back between Matteo Darmian, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot? Here is a look at our chosen combination…

Sergio Romero

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Brought in as a free agent in the summer of 2015, the Argentine stopper was one of the best back up goalkeepers around.

The 35-year-old won four trophies during his time in Manchester and he played a starring role in the Reds winning the 2017 Europa League final against Ajax.

Romero was an able deputy for David de Gea and it would have been nice for him to have made one final Manchester United appearance last season.

But that didn’t materialise and he’s currently plying his trade back in Serie A with Venezia.

Matteo Darmian

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The Italian was signed by Louis van Gaal from Italian side Torino and although the full-back wasn’t known for his rampaging runs forward, he was a decent signing.

The 32-year-old made 92 appearances for Manchester United before heading back to his homeland and joining Parma.

Darmian is currently at Inter Milan and was part of the side that won the Scudetto under Antonio Conte last season.

We have to admit that our options for the right-back spot are sparse given Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot’ struggles, but we have given Darmian the nod, possibly just because unlike the other two, we have not seen him let us down this season…

Raphael Varane

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It’s been a frustrating year for the World Cup winner, which has been disrupted by niggling injuries, but when the Frenchman is fit and available, United generally look a far better team.

Although Varane has only been at Old Trafford for one season, it says more about the other centre-backs United have signed post Ferguson that the former Real Madrid man is included in the team ahead of them.

If United’s number 19 can stay injury free in the coming years then our defence should hopefully reap the benefits.

Daley Blind

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There is no denying the Dutchman is technically blessed, but his lack of pace and physicality proved to be his undoing in the Premier League.

Currently back at Ajax and playing under Erik ten Hag, who is expected to take the reins at Old Trafford, Blind could have been a good partner for Varane.

Confident on the ball and a good reading of the game, United need a quality left-footed centre-back and Blind definitely ticks the box of ball-playing defender.

Luke Shaw

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The England international has to deal with challenging times at the Theatre of Dreams, most notably when he suffered his horror leg break and when he was cut adrift by Jose Mourinho.

After an impressive season last year, the former Southampton youngster like many of his teammates hasn’t kicked on this year.

But when United’s number 23 is fit and in full flow, he can be a key part of this Manchester United team. Hopefully under the tutelage of ten Hag, the left-back can fulfil his potential.

Aside from Alex Telles, Shaw has been the only out and out left-back signing, and the 26-year-old is the man who forms a part of this side.

Ander Herrera

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United miss Herrera’s bite and energy in the middle of the park – he fought for the club’s badge and always left it out on the pitch.

He was a model professional and whenever United had a big game you could guarantee the Spaniard would be at the heart of our game plan, which included man marking the likes of Kevin de Bruyne or Eden Hazard.

Herrera is the type of player and character the current Manchester United squad so badly needs.

Nemanja Matic

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The 33-year-old will leave United in the summer, but he was one of the best midfielders around when he was in his prime.

Physically imposing, comfortable in possession and an ability to sniff out danger – United are desperately missing a prime Matic right now to knit the individuals together.

Mourinho brought the Serbian to Manchester and it’s just a shame that he isn’t ten years younger.

Jadon Sancho

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It’s been a difficult first season at Old Trafford for the former Borussia Dortmund star, but his adaptation hasn’t been aided with managerial changes and seemingly dressing room unrest.

But the England international has shown flashes of brilliance, most notably after the international break in January.

United’s number 25 will be hoping to form a key part of Erik ten Hag’s plans and after a first full season in the Premier League under his belt, Sancho will only get better next season.

He’s still one of the best dribblers across Europe and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him produce double figures for goals and assists next season.

At the age of 22, Jadon Sancho is a key part of Manchester United’s future.

Bruno Fernandes

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United’s Portuguese ‘Magnifico’ was the catalyst which enabled the club to qualify for the Champions League after he arrived from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.

Fernandes may have suffered a lull this season, but he is still an integral part of this team and will likely be a key part of ten Hag’s plans.

Prior to Cristiano Ronaldo’s return, United’s number 18 carried this team. In 121 games for United, Fernandes has 49 goals and 39 assists to his name.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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United fans had been dreaming of Ronaldo’s return ever since he left for Real Madrid in 2009.

With every passing summer it looked like a second chapter with the club was going to be unlikely until this summer rekindled the love story.

Nobody would have expected United’s season to pan out the way it has following Ronaldo’s homecoming, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is certainly not the problem.

The 37-year-old has 22 goals to his name this season, no other United player has hit double figures as we enter late April. It begs the question of where would we be without our legendary number seven.

Admittedly more of a centre-forward nowadays, we have squeezed Ronaldo into the side on the left-wing, to accommodate another striker…

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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After joining on a free transfer from Paris Saint Germain to spearhead Mourinho’s attack, the great Swede more than conquered the Premier League.

Zlatan was key to United winning three trophies in the 2016/17, but his season was cut short after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The 40-year-old finished that season with 28 goals and 10 assists, in what was his solitary season in English football.

Ibrahimovic came to conquer and he certainly delivered.

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