Manchester United: Fergie's five worst signing
Sir Alex Ferguson has been a busy man this summer. He has already secured the signatures of Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa and has made bids for Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie and Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura.
However, although the wily old Scot has signed some gems during his time at Old Trafford, there have also been some proper duds. Here is a list of Sir Alex Ferguson's five worst signings as manager of Manchester United.
Juan Sebastian Veron
Arguably the most expensive failure Sir Alex Ferguson has ever made, it pains me to include Veron in this list as he was undoubtedly a wonderfully gifted midfielder, but unfortunately he wasn't able to adjust to life in the English Premier League.
Historically, foreign imports into the Premier League take time to adjust to the pace and physicality of the English game. However, the £28.1 million signing from Lazio never managed it, after making 51 appearances for United; as he wasn't granted the space or time on the ball he craved whilst making a name for himself in Serie A.
Ferguson once produced a foul mouthed rant in defence of Veron, claiming he was a "f*****g great player", but subsequently sold Veron to Chelsea, who had had just been taken over by a certain Roman Abramovich, in 2004, where he endured an even worse spell, going on to make just 14 appearances for the Blues.
Dubbed 'The blind Venetian' by one newspaper, Massimo Taibi, signed from Venezia in 1999 for a fee of £4.5 million, is potentially the worst signing of the list I have compiled.
He was signed to battle it out with Raimond Van Der Gouw and Mark Bosnich for the number one jersey after the departure of Danish hero Peter Schmiechel.
After four error-prone appearances, which included him somehow letting a weak, powerless shot from the boot of Matt Le Tissier squeeze underneath him, and letting in five goals at Chelsea, Fergie called time on his United career, offloading him to Reggina, and recouping £2.5 million.
After being part of the Brazil team which won the World Cup in 2002, Sir Alex swooped for Kleberson in the summer of 2003.
Having just sold Juan Sebastian Veron to Chelsea, and lost out on the signing of a certain Ronaldinho to Barcelona, United saw Kleberson as the man to fill the void in the midfield, causing them to pay a reasonable fee of £6.5 million to his club Atletico Paranaense.
Injured in only his second appearance for his new club, Kleberson managed just 30 appearances over a two-year period at Old Trafford, failing to make an impact in any of his games played.
Eventually he was sold to Besiktas in a deal which saw United sell him for less than half what they paid for him.
Ralph Milne is a name that some, if not most, of you will not have heard of. He made the move to United two years into Sir Alex's reign in 1988 when the Red Devils were looking to build a title winning side.
Milne arrived from third division side Bristol City for a mere sum of £170,000. Regularly named as one of United's worst ever signings, Milne still managed 23 appearances and contributed three goals.
Having been largely unpopular with the fans, in 2009 at a dinner for the League Managers' Association hall of fame 1000 club, Ferguson remarkably stated that Ralph Milne had been his worst ever signing, stating: "I only paid £170,000 but still get condemned for it."
In my opinion one of the most bizarre signings Ferguson has made in his 25 years at United was the signing of unknown Portuguese winger/striker Bebe. Having just signed for Vitoria de Guimaraes, Bebe was yet to make an appearance for the club when United came calling, paying the full buy out clause of around £7 million. This was even stranger as Bebe was trying to be offloaded for just £125,000 a few months earlier by his former club Estrela due to financial problems.
Sir Alex himself had not seen the player himself, however, Bebe was tipped as the next big thing by former Man United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz. In his debut season, he demonstrated an incredible shortage of ability on the pitch, notably his woeful crossing was the main factor which caught the eye of United fans.
Last season, the former Portugal Under 21 international was sent on loan to Beskitas, in the hope that he would gain some valuable experience. Unfortunately that was cut short as he suffered a cruciate ligament injury which would rule him out for six months.
Bebe is now back at Old Trafford and recently spared United's blushes with a late equaliser against Ajax Cape Town in Africa. Could this be the turning point in his United career?
Well there you have it. That's my five worst signings made by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Do you agree or disagree? Whatever your view I'd love to hear from you.
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