The January transfer window is starting in a few hours and what better way to start that other than reviewing our best January signings to date? People often think January isn’t a great time to sign players. But these signings have proved them wrong for sure!
Even though most of the top clubs remain reluctant to sell their best players in the winter, the opportunity to play for United is simply too big. We can see that with the signing of these world-class players! So without further ado, let’s get into the list.
5. Juan Mata
- App: 264 Goals: 50
- Honors: FA Cup 15/16, Europa League 16/17, League Cup 16/17, Community Shield 2017
Even though Mata didn’t fulfill all the hype which was created for him – he surely has been a loyal servant of the club and a fan-favorite. Coming from Chelsea in 2014, he immediately turned into a fan favorite. He makes up for a lack of pace with his control, technique, passing, creativity, and vision, which allows him to link-up with teammates and register many assists, in addition to scoring goals.
Many pundits consider Mata as one of the best attacking midfielders of his generation. Although he prefers the forward playmaking role, he has featured in many positions including the wing and as a second striker. Mata’s versatility has made him a great pick for the team. Predominantly left footed, he is also a well-known free kick specialist.
Mata has sometimes drawn criticisms over his limited defensive skills, lower work-rate, and slower pace. However, he has surely made up for his lackings with his skills on the ball, offensive play, and overall impact on the game. Many people might not like him, but still, he’s one of our best January signings without any doubt!
Also Read : Positions Manchester United needs to strengthen
4. Louis Saha
- App: 144
- Goals: 42
- Honors: League Cup 05/06, Premier League 06/07, 07/08, Champions League 07/08
Even after an injury-plagued career at Manchester United, Saha is still regarded as one of the best strikers to ever grace Old Trafford. He was a part of the team which won back-to-back PL title as well as the iconic ’08 UL. Scoring 42 goals from 144 appearances, he was truly a prolific striker. Even Rooney said that Saha is one of the best partners in the front he ever had. That counts for something right?
A new breed of striker, combining the elements of a bullish old-fashioned target man – strength, power, hold-up play, and heading ability, with explosive pace and exceptional technique – Saha had it all. He was also capable of scoring all sorts of goals with great consistency. All these made him one of the best strikers in the league at that time.
Even though Saha couldn’t be the beast everyone thought he was at Fulham, still, the club will always remember his contributions. The injuries dragged him down, but still, he’s a club legend. When on form – only a few could rival the quality Saha could bring to the team. That’s why he’s considered as our 4th best January signing in this list!
3. Bruno Fernandes
For many of you, it will come as a shock. “How can Bruno not be the best one? How can he not top the list?” In the case of individual brilliance, yes he might actually be the best. But the ones we have next on the list are legends for the club for their achievements and longevity, and it’s too early for Bruno to take them over.
Bruno has been nothing short of a revelation for Manchester United. He almost single-handedly changed the entire dynamic of the squad under Ole. He basically made us title contenders again. Since he joined last January, he has been the best player in the PL without any doubt. He became our very own magnifico within only a single year!
An attacking midfielder, Fernandes is a direct, energetic box-to-box playmaker who is capable of both taking on defenders and setting the rhythm of play. He also has a great record of tracking back and helping defensively. His work-rate is immense, is almost immune to injuries and can be seen in every inch of the field. Bruno can simply dictate the entire game.
Despite being prone to turnovers, he typically presses the opposition right after losing possession. In addition, he is an accurate free-kick taker and likes to shoot from outside the penalty area. His movement off the ball is also key, with him often roaming around the attacking areas of the pitch, or dropping deep to pick up possession. As well as operating in the attacking midfielder role, he can also operate in a deeper central role, or as a second-striker.
In a nutshell, Bruno has perhaps been the best player for us in the recent times. However, he still didn’t surpass the two we have next.
Also Read : Former Red Joins MUFC First-Team Coaching Setup
2. Patrice Evra
- App: 379
- Goals: 10
- Assist: 28
- Honors: League Cup 05/06. 08/09. 09/10 Premier League 06/07. 07/08. 08/09. 10/11. 12/13 Community Shield 2007. 2008. 2010. 2011. 2013 Champions League 07/08 Club World Cup 2008 Individual Distinctions: PFA Team of the year 06/07. 08/09. 09/10 FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2009 UEFA Team of the year 2009
In the second spot of our best January signings, it is none other than our very own Uncle Pat. Patrice Evra is widely considered as THE BEST fullback to ever play in the PL. His passion for the game and the club is unmatched and undoubtedly – was one of the most influential figures in the dressing room.
Although predominantly a left-back, he was equally good in both sides. Evra is a fast, energetic and athletic player with good acceleration. Evra, despite his size, is physically strong, and good in the air, which also allows him to be deployed as a center-back on occasion. An aggressive, tactically intelligent, versatile and hard-working player, he is also renowned for his leadership and tenacity on the pitch.
In addition to his physical attributes, he is also a technical player, with good vision, who is comfortable on the ball and adept at getting into attacking positions as a wingback where he can deliver crosses to teammates, having functioned as a winger earlier on in his career. Evra is perhaps most famous for his enthusiastic line “I love this game!” which made him a fan-favorite all over the world.
Due to his numerous achievements throughout the years, his leadership, inspiring attitude, and overall brilliance as a player – he gets our second position in the best January signings. And most of you might’ve already guessed who the first one is.
1. Nemanja Vidić
- App: 300
- Goals: 28
- Honors: League Cup 05/06. 08/09. 09/10 Premier League 06/07. 07/08. 08/09. 10/11. 12/13 Community Shield 2007. 2008. 2010. 2011. 2013 Champions League 07/08 Club World Cup 2008 Individual Distinctions: PFA Team of the year 06/07. 07/08 08/09. 10/11 Serbian Player of the year 2008 FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2009. 2011 Premier League Player of the year 2009. 2011
The original Serbian brute, Vidić was The defender everyone would take in their team. The original “give-it-all” center back, he never backed away from anything. Again, Vidić was arguably the best captain of United after Roy Keane and surely one of the most fearsome. He’s the true definition of a ruthless center back.
He was considered to be one of the world’s best center-backs in his prime due to his defensive consistency and awareness, as well as his strength, leadership, and ability in the air, which made him a goal threat on set pieces. He was also praised for his aggressive defensive style by his Manchester United team-mates and was highly regarded in the media for his on-the-pitch bravery throughout his career.
Although primarily a center back, Vidić was also capable of playing as a makeshift right-back on occasion. He was equally comfortable in a back and a back three. However, his playing style focused primarily on the defensive aspect of the game, rather than attempting to carry the ball forward or play out from the back. Moreover, he was a bit slow comparing him to the modern-day defenders, but his ability to read the game and positional sense compensated for it.
Vidić is easily one of the best central defenders ever to grace the PL. And to think that we signed him in January just shows that if the opportunity arises – one can easily get game changing players in the winter.
Do you agree with our list or would you like to change something? Do let us know what you think.
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