If you could sign 5 attainable players during Fergie era, who would you go for ?

King7Eric

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Just a thought, who would they be and how it would affect or prolong our dominance in the league and in Europe ? The key is they should be attainable. For e.g we couldn’t have signed Maldini from Milan or Henry from Arsenal no matter what but we could have signed Hazard from Lille if we had paid agent fees or Zidane from Bordeaux, you get the point. How it would have impacted the Fergie years or even post Fergie ? Would love to know from fellow caf members.

My 5 would be

Ronaldinho from PSG (2003)- probably the most heart broken I have been by a transfer. Even to this day I still think what could have been. Would have made us the most feared team in Europe.

Zlatan (2006) - After Ruud, would have been perfect for us.

Modric (2008) - would solve the midfield problem for years.

Robben (2009) - in a deal plus cash for Ronaldo from Madrid. Would be amazing for us.

Aguero (2011) - we would be set for a decade and that cnut moment wouldn’t have occurred.


Of course there are many more I could have gone for but I’m content with our team and our success pre noughties and also the fact that Modric, Aguero, Robben would have continued to carry us post Fergie too. What are your choices ? Zidane ? Shearer ? Seedorf , Ronaldo phenomeno (maybe), Nedved ? Hazard ? and how it would see us fare in league and in Europe ? Are there any set of signings that could have made us even more dominant in the league or assert our dominance on the continent and would have won more European cups ?
Zlatan would have been a horrible signing. No way we could have played the fluid style we did from 06-09 with him in the team.
 

kaku06

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Aguero (2011 from Atletico Madrid)
De Bruyne (2012 from Genk)
Modric (2008 from Dinamo Zagreb)
David Silva (2010 from Valencia)
Javi Martinez (2012 from Athletic Bilbao)
Great list. Although getting Martinez might have been a waste given how injury prone he has been. Silva is a fecking shout, loved him at Valencia. Where do you think he would be playing for us ? CAM ? Partnering kdb ? Wings ?
 
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kaku06

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Ronaldinho, Robben, Ramos, Pirlo, Gattuso
Do you think Ramos and Gattuso would be gettable ? From Sevilla and rangers ? And if so would you be partnering Gattuso with keane ? And Ramos as a RB ?
 

kaku06

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Hahah I get exactly how this sounds, almost like a tiny 'urgh' followed by Henry

Modric, Shearer, Robben, Batigol, Zola

Also Riquelme, I used to love him as a kid although I suspect he wouldn't have been as great in the Prem.
You my friend get it. :D
 

welshwingwizard

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Aguero (2011 from Atletico Madrid)
De Bruyne (2012 from Genk)
Modric (2008 from Dinamo Zagreb)
David Silva (2010 from Valencia)
Javi Martinez (2012 from Athletic Bilbao)
This is it I reckon. Focus at the end of his time with us as however nice it would have been to have had a couple more CLs in 90s/00s, signing the above players would have stopped us falling off a cliff once he left.

Other names would be Vidal, Varane, Bale, Ribery and Robben.
 

BarcaSpurs

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How good would Utd have been with Ronaldinho? his peak coincided with Utds worst years under Fergie, and won't have been much use from 09 onwards. Does he get you competing with Chelsea/Arsenal during those 03-07 years, or a level above that and being one of the best teams in the world?
 

mshnsh

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The ones that got away:

Ronaldinho. Would have made us dominate in Europe.

Robben. Fantastic winger. Would have made the left wing his own.

Shearer. Would have been the perfect striker for us in the late 90s.

Gaza. Who know what heights he would have reached under Ferguson and what heights United would've reached with him in the team.
 

Zlatattack

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Robben when Valencia joined.

Zlatan when he moved to PSG.

Ronaldinho when he joined Barca.

Hazard when he joined Chelsea.
 

PeteManic

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How good would Utd have been with Ronaldinho? his peak coincided with Utds worst years under Fergie, and won't have been much use from 09 onwards. Does he get you competing with Chelsea/Arsenal during those 03-07 years, or a level above that and being one of the best teams in the world?
Ronaldinho would have been another Veron. Two underwhelming years at United and then off to a team in Spain or Italy.
 

sherrinford

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Generally agree with the most popular choices. As with others, for me it has to be players that would have improved the 2010s where we fell away from the elite. The early-mid 2000s period where we were less successful I still have fond memories of - a fantastic striker, two of the most exciting attacking talents in the world and generally less stale football than towards the end of Fergie's time and beyond.

I think there are five stand-out players overall - Modric, de Bruyne, Robben, Hazard and Thiago Silva - as well as multiple outstanding candidates for centre forward - Lewandowski, Benzema, Aguero and Suarez.

Modric and Robben seem obvious. De Bruyne over David Silva given that Modric is the clear choice deeper in midfield. Hazard was the best player in the Premier League over his time at Chelsea for me, but generally (wrongly) seems to be dismissed as not being consistent or productive enough here. Thiago Silva hasn't been mentioned, but what a fantastic replacement for Ferdinand he would have been in 2012. Given the quality of the strikers, we really could have done with one of those four once Rooney declined.

That's six. Not sure which one I would omit to avoid exceeding the quota of five.
 

CarbonStoolBites

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Ronaldinho would have been another Veron. Two underwhelming years at United and then off to a team in Spain or Italy.
Ronaldinho was miles better than Hazard who is a PL all time great. Not sure what makes you think Ronaldinho would’ve struggled playing against the mighty PL full backs or what relevance it has to Veron.
 

FriedClams

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  • Alan Shearer from Southampton in 1992. Would have been as significant for United as Raúl for Madrid or del Piero for Juventus. Rooney would replace him in 2004.
  • Lilian Thuram from Monaco in 1996. What's not to like? 24 years old, could play fullback or centerback at an elite level at the peak of his powers, and emerged as a strong leader. Vidić would replace him in 2006.
  • Andriy Shevchenko from Dynamo Kyiv in 1997. To replace Cantona, basically. Yorke had an outstanding but short-lived peak; Shevchenko was world-class for close to a decade. Last fella on this list would eventually replace him.
  • Luka Modrić from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008. The heir to Scholes' throne in midfield and the near-perfect complement to Carrick, plucked directly from the Croatian league.
  • Karim Benzema from Lyon in 2008. A year before he joined Madrid; recently extended with Lyon, but what if he was receptive to an “offer that could not be refused”?
The late '90s to early 2000s team as well as late 2000s team (both of which did very well in continental competitions) would look a bit different with these signings, to say the least; maybe we would win a few more European Cups?
i wonder if earlier shevchenko would have performed well in the PL late 90s early 2000s.
 

Ted Lasso

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David Silva (before he went to city)
Modric (arguably before he went to Spurs)
Yaya Toure (the Barca outcast)
Aguero
Hazard

I was fine missing out on players in the late 90s and early 2000s, it happens. But the failure to respond when Ronaldo was sold cost us dearly. fecking glazers.
This is almost my list exactly. Had Torres from Atletico instead of Aguero, who I think would have suited Fergie better.

Eden Hazard alone would have kept us at the top for the first few years after sir Alex retired.
 

Gazza

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I’d look at which years we underachieved.

2001-02 marked the beginning of the end for the 1999 team. Even though we won the league the next year, we lost our mojo after that until 2006. Biggest issues during this time was 1) no Schmeichel replacement; 2) unstable defence after Stam left and Irwin got too old; 3) Keane’s powers diminishing as he aged.

Too bad my memory is too shit to recall the gettable players from back then. I remember being annoyed when Sol Campbell went to Arsenal on a free instead of us; and we could have gotten Van Der Sar direct from Ajax of course. That would have made us so much stronger for a start. I remember at the time lots of people here liked Ruben Baraja at Valencia for midfield. Those three would have seen us alright through the Arsenal Invincibles and early era Mourinho’s Chelsea.

Then with the remaining two players, plug the gaps in our recruitment post Ronaldo and stymie our rivals in the process: Hazard and Aguero.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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Great list. Although getting Martinez might have been a waste given how injury prone he has been. Silva is a fecking shout, loved him at Valencia. Where do you think he would be playing for us ? CAM ? Partnering kdb ? Wings ?
Fair enough about Martinez but I just think his versatility and style of play as a DM would have suited us very well. Do the dirty work and feed the more creative players up top to do what they are capable of. Him next to Modric would have been a lovely balance.

I would have had Silva in his favourable CAM position, the position we signed Kagawa for 2 years later. Him behind Rooney and then Aguero the year after would have been delightful. Or we could have put him on the wing and have Rooney at 10 behind Aguero. So many options up top.

I think KDB would have initially been brought in as a squad player from Genk with the potential to obviously become a first name on the teamsheet starter the season or two after. The odd occasional sub appearance here and there. I think Fergie would have got him up and ready to become a proper 1st team starter for the new manager in 2013, pretty much the player he is today.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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This is it I reckon. Focus at the end of his time with us as however nice it would have been to have had a couple more CLs in 90s/00s, signing the above players would have stopped us falling off a cliff once he left.

Other names would be Vidal, Varane, Bale, Ribery and Robben.
Precisely and exactly why I have gone with my list on players for the late 00s/early 2010s. Prepare us properly for when Fergie retired in 2013 rather than see us fall off a cliff as what transpired.
 

Stobzilla

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In order:

Paul Gascoigne (1987)
Alan Shearer (1992)
Edwin van der Sar (1999)
Luka Modric (2008)
Arjen Robben (2009)

Gascoigne and Shearer would have helped immensely in Europe during the early CL campaigns.

Edwin is self explanatory.

Modric and Robben would have been dynamite
 

simonhch

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Just a thought, who would they be and how it would affect or prolong our dominance in the league and in Europe ? The key is they should be attainable. For e.g we couldn’t have signed Maldini from Milan or Henry from Arsenal no matter what but we could have signed Hazard from Lille if we had paid agent fees or Zidane from Bordeaux, you get the point. How it would have impacted the Fergie years or even post Fergie ? Would love to know from fellow caf members.

My 5 would be

Ronaldinho from PSG (2003)- probably the most heart broken I have been by a transfer. Even to this day I still think what could have been. Would have made us the most feared team in Europe.

Zlatan (2006) - After Ruud, would have been perfect for us.

Modric (2008) - would solve the midfield problem for years.

Robben (2009) - in a deal plus cash for Ronaldo from Madrid. Would be amazing for us.

Aguero (2011) - we would be set for a decade and that cnut moment wouldn’t have occurred.


Of course there are many more I could have gone for but I’m content with our team and our success pre noughties and also the fact that Modric, Aguero, Robben would have continued to carry us post Fergie too. What are your choices ? Zidane ? Shearer ? Seedorf , Ronaldo phenomeno (maybe), Nedved ? Hazard ? and how it would see us fare in league and in Europe ? Are there any set of signings that could have made us even more dominant in the league or assert our dominance on the continent and would have won more European cups ?
I had drinks with Joel Cantona once and he told me how close we were to signing Zidane. Apparently Eric urged Ferguson and Edwards to sign him, and Fergie was all on board, to the point where Eric spoke to Zidane multiple times and he agreed to come and was excited to play under SAF, but at the last minute Edwards said the money wasn’t available and we didn’t sign him. He later went on to Juve and became a legend. Allegedly this was one of the reasons Eric became so disillusioned and retired.

There was more detail and nuance to the story that I have sadly forgotten in the intervening years. The crux of it was that Eric thought Martin Edwards was a twat because of (a) commercial deals that he was forced to perform that he didn’t want to, and (b) the failure to sign Zidane when he wanted to come.

Anyway…..

Zidane
Modric
Aguero
Ronaldinho
Shearer

are the ones that spring to mind, but I haven’t put a ton of thought into it. Zidane was at a time we had Scholes, so there might have been the Veron effect there. Then there’s always the whole “If we got Ronaldinho we wouldn’t have gotten Cristiano” debate. Modric and Aguero are the ones whose timing was the best in terms of them being world class talents at a time when we didn’t have other world class talents in their position.

A better winger than Valencia after Ronaldo would’ve helped too. Maybe Robben. But I have genuine affection for Valencia. Think he was good. Robben and Valencia would’ve worked.
 

Sandikan

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Hard to say with stuff like this, and I know this is boring but I end up thinking who we might not have signed if we did get certain players. Do we still sign Ronaldo if we already bought Ronaldinho that same summer for example? Or maybe we don't go for Rooney a year later. I personally liked Tevez's time here, some love Berbatov, might not have seen either of them if signing Ibrahimovic. No van Persie if we got Aguero?

Things might have worked out better but I loved Fergie's time so much here that I wouldn't want to mess with anything too much.
Exactly that.
You don't buy Shearer, but you end up going a different route and bringing Solskjaer in as a cheaper risk, and Cole then goes onto become a top all round player and link up with Yorke to incredible effect a few years later.
Would we have won the treble with Shearer? Well, we wouldn't have bettered it!
 

Sandikan

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I had drinks with Joel Cantona once and he told me how close we were to signing Zidane. Apparently Eric urged Ferguson and Edwards to sign him, and Fergie was all on board, to the point where Eric spoke to Zidane multiple times and he agreed to come and was excited to play under SAF, but at the last minute Edwards said the money wasn’t available and we didn’t sign him. He later went on to Juve and became a legend. Allegedly this was one of the reasons Eric became so disillusioned and retired.

There was more detail and nuance to the story that I have sadly forgotten in the intervening years. The crux of it was that Eric thought Martin Edwards was a twat because of (a) commercial deals that he was forced to perform that he didn’t want to, and (b) the failure to sign Zidane when he wanted to come.

Anyway…..

Zidane
Modric
Aguero
Ronaldinho
Shearer

are the ones that spring to mind, but I haven’t put a ton of thought into it. Zidane was at a time we had Scholes, so there might have been the Veron effect there. Then there’s always the whole “If we got Ronaldinho we wouldn’t have gotten Cristiano” debate. Modric and Aguero are the ones whose timing was the best in terms of them being world class talents at a time when we didn’t have other world class talents in their position.

A better winger than Valencia after Ronaldo would’ve helped too. Maybe Robben. But I have genuine affection for Valencia. Think he was good. Robben and Valencia would’ve worked.
Valencia fitted us perfectly straight after though, and early pre injury Valencia was actually a beast.
He was the absolute anti Nani in always picking the right option.

Latter Valencia post injury seemed to lose a bit of confidence attacking wise, and would just stop dead with the ball, or ram crosses into shins.
And also wasn't helped by moving back to full back for ages where he was passable but not the same threat as before, and for a while you couldn't believe Young and Valencia were both still here so long later, and operating as starting full backs!
 

cyril C

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Modric is mentioned multiple times. We did try to sign Modric, he just didn't want to join us.

Lewandoski during 2013 summer would be a great buy. Dortmund would love to offload him to ANY club but BM, had we submit any offer, door will be open and only negotiation is between Club and player. Unfortunately we recruited Van Persie in 2012 summer.
 

Djcoops54

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Gascoigne but we still bought Keane
Shearer (pre Blackburn) but we still bought Eric.
Van Der Sar in ‘99
Aguero
Hazard
 

M Utd

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Van de Sar when Schmeichel left.
Zidane when he was at Bordeaux.
Aguero
Cannavaro from Parma
Duff from Blackburn.
Van de Sar sprang to my mind too. We had some dodgy keepers and some good keepers in that time but VDS would have been perfect to come in a few years earlier.
 

Blackbeard

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Shearer. I remember being certain he was done until he wasn’t.
 

Isotope

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Xavi, when he was in limbo with Barca. If only we pushed a bit harder.
Zidane alone would take us to unprecedented domination in Europe and domestic.

Then there are Nedved, Shevchenko, and Eto'o.
 

kaku06

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Modric is mentioned multiple times. We did try to sign Modric, he just didn't want to join us.

Lewandoski during 2013 summer would be a great buy. Dortmund would love to offload him to ANY club but BM, had we submit any offer, door will be open and only negotiation is between Club and player. Unfortunately we recruited Van Persie in 2012 summer.
Modric could be signed from Zagreb in 2008 easily by offering them an amazing deal.
 

kaku06

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Van de Sar sprang to my mind too. We had some dodgy keepers and some good keepers in that time but VDS would have been perfect to come in a few years earlier.
Van der Sar is a very good shout. We would have won against Porto in 2004 with him alone and after that it was an easy CL to win.
 

cyril C

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Modric could be signed from Zagreb in 2008 easily by offering them an amazing deal.
Easier said than done. I suppose we can cross out the Agent factor as in the case of Haaland, but spotting talent before they catch the eyes of the world, lies with capable scouts, who fed us with the likes of Tosic, Diouf, Djemba, Powell, Fred.
 

CarbonStoolBites

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Easier said than done. I suppose we can cross out the Agent factor as in the case of Haaland, but spotting talent before they catch the eyes of the world, lies with capable scouts, who fed us with the likes of Tosic, Diouf, Djemba, Powell, Fred.
Should’ve signed Messi when he was a fetus, mate.
 

kaku06

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Easier said than done. I suppose we can cross out the Agent factor as in the case of Haaland, but spotting talent before they catch the eyes of the world, lies with capable scouts, who fed us with the likes of Tosic, Diouf, Djemba, Powell, Fred.
It’s a hypothetical scenario in hindsight mate. You think we couldn’t pip Spurs for Modric from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 if we went all in for him when we just won the champions league ?
 

finneh

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For me Fergie's reign was as close to perfect as you could get. Sure we could exhaust the five picks winning an extra couple of Champions League's, but for me ensuring a seemless transition almost irrespective of the manager would be more desirable. Ensuring a competitive team for several years after FergIe's departure would win far more trophies.

Robben in 2009
David Silva in 2010
Thiago Silva in 2012
Yaya Toure in 2010
Benzema in 2009

I can't believe even Moyes could cock up a team with those five players in.
 

iAm20Legend

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Yaya Toure
Modric
Benzema
Suarez
Aguero
Silva.

Not so sure about Robben and Essien because we did try if I remember right, and they joined Chelsea ?
Remember being really mad we weren't trying for Silva and Aguero. Yaya Toure went to City for a frickin bargain at 24 mil.
 
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