Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United, the Red Devils have been on a downward spiral, not because they haven’t had some good achievements, but because they have struggled to match the accomplishments of the Scotsman.
He made them the top club in England and famously toppled Liverpool, who were the giants of English football in the 80s.
United have not recovered from some of the poor times they have experienced recently, but in the last campaign, they did a good job under new manager Erik Ten Hag who might become the manager that comes the closest to emulating Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Scotsman made United the envy of clubs around the country, and the likes of Arsene Wenger were seen as heroes for stopping him from winning the league in some campaigns.
One good thing about Ferguson is that he knows how to sign top players, and these individuals eventually helped him to achieve his goal of winning several trophies.
United had the likes of Steve Bruce, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney, among others, when he was their manager, and these players are remembered in the world of football as individuals who helped the club to become one of the best sides in the world.
Since he left, United have not won the league, and it is not because they haven’t tried to nor had a good manager, but the players the club has signed since then have mostly failed to live up to expectations.
This could change under Ten Hag, who seems to know the formula for success and can buy the right players for the club.
The gaffer is someone we expect to do well in the long run, but who are the best players that the club has signed since Sir Alex Fergusen retired?
Luke Shaw, 2014
Shaw joined United in 2014 as the most expensive teenager in the world after his superb season with Southampton, who had stunned English fans with some brilliant football under Mauricio Pochettino.
The Englishman was so good it was hard to doubt that he would be a top player in the future, but his path to becoming a key member of the current was not easy.
He has suffered injuries that could have ended his career, and he did not always find favour in the sight of some managers, but the England international is now a rock at the club.
He is being used as a centre-back in some games and outperformed Harry Maguire in that unfamiliar role. This means we will see him more often under Ten Hag in the coming seasons.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 2016
Ibrahimovic has just retired from football at the age of 40, and the Swede will be remembered as one of the best footballers who never won the Champions League.
When Jose Mourinho brought him to Manchester United in 2016, he was already 35, and most people did not expect much from him, considering how tough the Premier League can be, so why would he make fans buy Man UTD tickets?
But Zlatan is a different breed, and the Swedish star proved to be a key signing for the Red Devils as he led them to win the Europa League in 2017.
He scored 29 goals in 53 competitive matches in just two seasons at the club, and fans will always remember him for conquering the Premier League and making it look so easy to play in.
Bruno Fernandes 2020
Fernandes is one of the finest players United have added to their squad since Ferguson left the club, and the Portuguese midfielder has continued to prove it was a smart decision to bring him to England.
Bruno joined the club in the second half of the 2019/2020 season after United decided it was too risky to wait for him until the end of that term.
He had scored eight goals and provided seven assists from 17 matches in the league alone for Sporting Clube de Portugal, and United believed he was a player who could reignite their season. It proved to be true.
In the second half of that term, the midfielder scored eight goals and provided seven assists in just 14 league games for United.
Overall, he had 27 goals and 22 assists in that campaign for both clubs, and it wasn’t hard to know United had made a terrific signing.
In the following campaign, he scored 28 goals and provided 17 assists in 58 competitive matches for Manchester United as they nearly won the Europa League.
He has been an ever-present in the United team, and one can argue that he is the best player the club has signed since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Although Casemiro has spent just a season on the books of United, it is easy to tell he is the best piece of business they have done for some time.
They wanted to sign Adrien Rabiot before splashing the cash on Casemiro, and rival fans mocked the decision because he was already 30 and cost them £60 million.
However, if United were to make that decision again, they might sign Casemiro again, even for a higher fee.
The Brazilian seems to be the final piece of the jigsaw at Old Trafford, and he is one big reason Ten Hag has gotten off to a bright start at the club as its manager.
Casemiro marshals their midfield perfectly and makes winning balls and breaking up play look so easy. He might be the best midfielder in the Premier League.
He is everything United thought Fred would be, and with him in that team, it is just a matter of time before it wins the Premier League crown again.
Raphael Varane, 2021
Varane arrived at United with a big reputation, having won four Champions League and three league titles at Real Madrid, so United knew they were getting a top player when they added him to their squad.
The World Cup winner has delivered as he has made their defence stronger and is now an indispensable member of their squad.
His partnership with Lisandro Martinez at the heart of their defence has pushed Harry Maguire down the pecking order, and he is a leader in the group.
Varane seems shy as a person, but he is one of the most experienced and successful defenders in the Premier League.
It is easy to see this from the way he carries himself.
United has made some other quality signings since Ferguson left the club, including Lisandro Martinez, who has just joined them, and Paul Pogba, who moved back to the club in 2016.
The Frenchman divides opinion, but he won the Europa League in 2017 and had good days when he was the best player on the pitch for the Red Devils.
Ander Herrera is another player that the club’s fans will remember fondly for his dedicated performances in midfield.
He was a master of his craft, and several fans were unhappy when he left the club to move to a top side like PSG.
Romelu Lukaku spent only two seasons at Manchester United, yet he scored 42 goals in 96 competitive games.
Because the fans did not like him, his stats get downplayed, but he is one of the finest signings the Red Devils have made since the Ferguson era ended.
Lisandro Martinez has only been at the club for one season, but he is on his way to proving he is one of the best buys the club has made.