How Man Utd blew €196m in one summer on flops Di Maria, Falcao & Rojo

Martin Macdonald
How Man Utd blew €196m in one summer on flops Di Maria, Falcao & Rojo

Following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United attempted to bridge the gap to the rest of the teams in the league by splashing the cash, particularly in the tenures of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

After Van Gaal took over the reins at Old Trafford following the unsuccessful spell of David Moyes, Man Utd opened their chequebook and quickly gave the Dutchman hundreds of millions of pounds to spend to reshape his team.

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One of his acquisitions has proved to be a huge hit in Luke Shaw who was purchased for £30 million from Southampton, while others like Daley Blind and Ander Herrera done okay in their time at the club.

Some, however, proved to be costly flops, as in total Van Gaal spent €196m ahead of the 2014/15 season, with most of that money effectively wasted.

Angel Di Maria – £59.7m from Real Madrid

On the face of it, the signing of Angel Di Maria in the summer of 2014 made perfect sense. He was their record transfer at the time at £59m, having just helped Real Madrid to the Champions League with a man of the match performance in the final.

Things started well enough for the Argentine as he won the Player of the Month Award and Goal of the Month for September following his delightful chip against Leicester.

However, in a similar fashion to fellow Argentine Juan Sebastian Veron years previous he struggled to adapt to his surroundings in the Premier League, while his house being burgled certainly did not help him settle any better.

But if Van Gaal expected Di Maria to lead the team into a new era, he signed the wrong player. Having played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he generally impressed away from the limelight and struggled with the pressure of being the club’s main man.

Radamel Falcao – £6m LOAN from Monaco

Man Utd paid £6m to sign Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco back in 2014, and it’s fair to say it didn’t work out.

So much was wanted of the man who had tore up La Liga with Atletico Madrid, but Falcao managed to score just four Premier League goals during his time at the club, and a career that promised so much in Spain and France with Monaco really fizzled out after moving to Old  Trafford.

How Man Utd blew €196m in one summer on flops Di Maria, Falcao & Rojo

How Man Utd blew €196m in one summer on flops Di Maria, Falcao & Rojo

He failed to adapt to the league and while the signing made sense at the time as United were in the need to reinforcements up top, it proved to be yet another example of a poor transfer decision.

Safe to say the option for a permanent move for £43.5m (€55m) was not taken up by the Red Devils.

Marcos Rojo – £16m from Sporting CP

Marjos Rojo arrived in Manchester following an impressive World Cup campaign that saw him help his country reach the final, before succumbing to winners Germany.

Capable of playing either centre-half or left-back, Rojo was viewed as a solution to Manchester United’s defensive woes; with the side finishing seventh in 2013/14, and both Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra leaving the club that summer, it was most definitely needed.

The defender made 22 Premier League appearances in his maiden campaign, but his rashness in challenges and poor defensive awareness ensured it was all downhill from there.

A decent defender on his day, Rojo lacks concentration, and was eventually sold by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021.