Ranking United “wingers” post SAF

Florida Man

Cartoon expert and crap superhero
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
13,851
Location
Florida, man
With rumors of Sancho being targeted by Saudi clubs, we chalk off yet another failed experiment played out wide. It’s been a position in need since arguably Moyes’ time. Off the top of my head, all those who has at least semi frequently played wing or wide forward not signed or promoted by SAF:
  • Mata
  • Januzaj
  • Di Maria
  • Memphis
  • Martial
  • Rashford
  • Lingard
  • Mkhitaryan
  • Pogba
  • Alexis
  • James
  • Greenwood
  • Cavani
  • Pellistri
  • Diallo
  • Sancho
  • Antony
  • Mount
  • Garnacho
  • Bruno(?)
  • Edit: forgot to add Elanga
For me it’s difficult to rank all in an exact order but I’ll categorize instead.

Cavani and Greenwood are arguably the only ones who consistently had good games played out wide.

Rashford, Martial, Mata have had a lot of good games but struggled with consistency. Garnacho could be here too but he’s still young and is only playing senior football for the 2nd season.

Lingard, Antony, Pogba, Januzaj, Memphis, Di Maria, Mkhitaryan, James only a handful of games where they played well but mostly never turned up.

Pellistri, Diallo, Mount haven’t played enough for me to judge fully, or nothing stood out for me to remember good or bad

Alexis and Sancho were just disasters for me. Don’t even recall one genuinely solid match. If Bruno counts, he fits best in this group, but not a disaster (yet) due to injuries forcing shoehorning of players.

Overall a pretty depressing list over the span of 10 years. Our best performers were one who was past his prime and injury prone, and the other being a terrible idiot whose potential return would bring even more awful publicity without the guarantee of top form.
 
Last edited:

Samid

He's no Bilal Ilyas Jhandir
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
48,997
Location
Oslo, Norway
I mean the debate of who's better/worse would be akin to Guardiola, Ten Hag and 20 other baldheads fighting over a comb.
 

RVN1991

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
1,156
Rashford and Greenwood probably the best two? Some grim memories going through that list.
 
Last edited:

sullydnl

Ross Kemp's caf ID
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
34,063
The OP's list starts with Mata, and Mata starts looking better and better the more names you roll past.
 

Scandi Red

Hates Music.
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
4,291
I'll omit Pogba, Cavani, Bruno and Mount as they aren't really wingers. I'll also omit Diallo and Pellestri since they haven't played enough in my opinion.

Boy what a sad list that is! :lol: Considering everything (top level, average level, price and output) I end up with something like this:

(Good)
1. Rashford

(Acceptable)
2. Martial
3. Mata

(cnut tier)
4. Greenwood (goddammit, he would probably at least be 2nd by now if he wasn't who he is)
5. Di Maria (dickhead)

(Meh, jury still out)
6. Garnacho

(Not good enough but could be useful sometimes)
7. Lingard
8. James
9. Januzaj

(So shit that I refuse to rank them)
- Memphis
- Mkhitaryan
- Alexis
- Sancho
- Antony
 

Leftback99

Might have a bedwetting fetish.
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
13,841
My top 3 RW in that list:

1. Greenwood - I never want to see him play for us again
2. Mata - I hated seeing him on wing for us and he left around 4 years too late
3. Dan James

The rest are worse.

Sums up our transfer business really.
 

Ole'sgunnarwin

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
1,324
I'll omit Pogba, Cavani, Bruno and Mount as they aren't really wingers. I'll also omit Diallo and Pellestri since they haven't played enough in my opinion.

Boy what a sad list that is! :lol: Considering everything (top level, average level, price and output) I end up with something like this:

(Good)
1. Rashford

(Acceptable)
2. Martial
3. Mata

(cnut tier)
4. Greenwood (goddammit, he would probably at least be 2nd by now if he wasn't who he is)
5. Di Maria (dickhead)

(Meh, jury still out)
6. Garnacho

(Not good enough but could be useful sometimes)
7. Lingard
8. James
9. Januzaj

(So shit that I refuse to rank them)
- Memphis
- Mkhitaryan
- Alexis
- Sancho
- Antony
I'd agree with that more or less. Can't believe Rashford is the only one who's good considering how bad he's been this year.

We had Beckham, Ronaldo and Giggs before. Genuinely world class wingers for years. 2 were brought through and the other didn't cost a lot.

The 100s of millions spent on dross over the years is depressing.
 

tomaldinho1

Full Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2015
Messages
17,068
LW. Rashford by some distance, Martial under LVG, no one else really. Jury out on Garnacho.
RW. Amazingly and depressingly is Mata
 

Scandi Red

Hates Music.
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
4,291
We had Beckham, Ronaldo and Giggs before. Genuinely world class wingers for years. 2 were brought through and the other didn't cost a lot.
Nani was also world class in his best two seasons arguably. Valencia was mint for a year too. Park was invaluable for a very long time as well.

Good times!
 

lex talionis

Full Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
13,422
Rashford is probably #1 but if I’m honest the best pure winger season we’ve had from that list is Martials first year. His dribbling/creation was unreal for a teenager.
Indeed. A shame so much potential became so useless. With everyone else there's a reasonable explanation of some kind but in the case of Martial it was one turd after the other, season after season. He dreamed of being a world class striker, and we wasted years watching his "performances", but he just didn't have it in him.
 

Longlivekeano

Full Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
2,806
Location
Singapore
I am fuming at the mediocre list. We could do with a Jarrod Bowen or the Raphinha or Neto at the moment. All would be upgrades on the list
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

Full Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
6,351
Location
"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
Indeed. A shame so much potential became so useless. With everyone else there's a reasonable explanation of some kind but in the case of Martial it was one turd after the other, season after season. He dreamed of being a world class striker, and we wasted years watching his "performances", but he just didn't have it in him.
Very strange player. Probably the most gifted with the ball at his feet that we've had the past decade besides Pogba, put in 2 seasons where he was genuinely one of the best in the league at his position (15-16 at LW and then 19-20 at ST), and then was hopeless/injured the rest of his time here.
 

Skills

Snitch
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
41,944
Very strange player. Probably the most gifted with the ball at his feet that we've had the past decade besides Pogba, put in 2 seasons where he was genuinely one of the best in the league at his position (15-16 at LW and then 19-20 at ST), and then was hopeless/injured the rest of his time here.
Horribly mismanaged. Wasn't injury prone at all prior to Ole, and Mourinho just didn't fancy him.

He would've been a different player had he spent those early years at Dortmund rather than the time he wasted here. He's the prototypical case study of why players like Bellingham have no interest in risking their development here.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

Full Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
6,351
Location
"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
Horribly mismanaged. Wasn't injury prone at all prior to Ole, and Mourinho just didn't fancy him.

He would've been a different player had he spent those early years at Dortmund rather than the time he wasted here.
Agree, combo of mismanagement earlier and injuries later. Also I never felt like we really developed the weaknesses he had in his game, for example if he had someone to actively force him to make runs inside the box to poach goals he'd have been miles more effective instead of always wanting the ball played to his feet.
 

hobbers

Full Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
26,956
Plum average
Rashford

Youth flops
Januzaj
Memphis
James
Pellistri
Elanga

Big money flops

Di Maria
Martial
Alexis
Antony
Sancho

Not wingers but can do a job there
Mkhitaryan
Pogba
Mount (maybe)

Not wingers and useless there

Cavani
Lingard
Bruno
Mata

Let's see

Greenwood
Diallo
Garnacho
 

lex talionis

Full Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
13,422
Very strange player. Probably the most gifted with the ball at his feet that we've had the past decade besides Pogba, put in 2 seasons where he was genuinely one of the best in the league at his position (15-16 at LW and then 19-20 at ST), and then was hopeless/injured the rest of his time here.
Others have mentioned it on this thread and others in the past, but Jose really wrecked Anthony mentally. Martial was always overhyped after that goal v Liverpool but there's no doubt he was very decent at LW. But then Jose fukking brought in Alexis and shunned Anthony without any good reason I could see. Maybe Jose saw in Anthony what we all saw later, which was mental weakness, but can there be any doubt that most footballers who were treated the way Anthony was treated by Jose would crumble just as Anthony did?
 

Dazzmondo

Full Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
8,934
  • Rashford's obviously by far the best. Consistently got over 20 goals in 3 of the last 4 seasons, and without his incredible performances last season, I don't think Utd win anything, finish outside of top 4 and good chance ETH wouldn't even be here anymore.
  • Martial was great on the lw under LVG and under Jose until we signed Alexis and fecked everything up. Massive talent, particularly in regards to dribbling. I think injuries ruined Martial unfortunately. Even now, he does sometimes show glimpses of that talent, but ultimately he's become unreliable.
  • Greenwood's probably just about been our best on the rw. Unfortunate off field problems. Still a bit overrated as an actual winger though. His finishing is excellent but the rest of his game was actually quite flawed. His choice of pass was consistently poor and he was selfish. I find it interesting that Garnacho gets so much criticism for his end product but Mason tended to be excused most of the time for the same issues (I guess the more consistent goals made people forget the flaws).
  • The best performances on our rw actually came from Di Maria in his first few games before the twat just stopped trying and decided to leave. Nothing else to say on the snake other than talent was obviously there but attitude was rotten.
  • I still believe in Garnacho. The end product's not there yet, but that's nearly always the last thing to develop. I'm encouraged by the runs he makes, which are actually very intelligent. Whether he can reproduce this on the rw remains to be seen. I'd certainly like to see him start there more. Been one of our better players in the last couple games when starting.
  • I need to see what Amad can do at Utd still. His loan at Sunderland was encouraging. His loan at Rangers less so.
  • I like what Pellistri offers in terms of workrate, pressing, pace and crossing. He's definitely underrated on here, but he strikes me more as a good squad option than a starter. His flaw is probably that he offers no goal threat, being a much more traditional winger. Unfortunately, wingers are now judged far more on goals than anything else due to how the game's evolved.
  • Sancho has the talent imo but looks like we'll never see it at Utd. He was one of the best wingers in Europe at Dortmund, whether playing on the left or the right. The style of play Utd used during his time here, based on counter attacking and direct football hasn't seemed to suit him. Attitude problems now probably suggest he won't be here much longer, unless a new manager wants to give him one last chance. Worth noting his 12 goals and 6 assists is still the most of any Utd right winger since he joined (though in reality the performance of all have been very poor in this regard)
  • Antony does some good work defensively, but is too one-dimensional and simply lacks the end product you need at this level. Has 8 goals (though 3 of them came in his opening games) and 3 assists. He has no goals or assists this season.
  • Mata's overrated on here imo, probably because it's so long since he was a regular starter. His performances at Utd were so far removed from what he showed at Chelsea unfortunately.
  • Januzaj was really disappointing, as I do think he had the talent to become much more than he did. Instead, just a 1 season wonder at Utd.
  • No words on Alexis. How a player can immediately go from being one of the best wingers in the world to literally useless in a matter of months is still perplexing.
Don't see the point in discussing players who weren't natural wingers.
 

Blood Mage

Full Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
5,755
Rashford and Greenwood have been decent, the rest have been bang average to awful. But even Rashford and Greenwood have yet to reach Nani levels of productivity and Nani was considered a wasteful and frustrating player at the time. Shows how low standards have been for a while.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

Full Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
6,351
Location
"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
Others have mentioned it on this thread and others in the past, but Jose really wrecked Anthony mentally. Martial was always overhyped after that goal v Liverpool but there's no doubt he was very decent at LW. But then Jose fukking brought in Alexis and shunned Anthony without any good reason I could see. Maybe Jose saw in Anthony what we all saw later, which was mental weakness, but can there be any doubt that most footballers who were treated the way Anthony was treated by Jose would crumble just as Anthony did?
Yeah that was a shocking decision. Martial was basically saving Mourinho going into that January as our best attacker at that time and then he goes and signs a washed Sanchez and fecks off Martial anyways. Just a bizarre way to handle a young player after already taking his number the previous year too. It would be like Garnacho carrying our attack for the next 6 weeks and then ETH signing Mane for a big fee from Saudi
 

MiceOnMeth

Full Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
1,680
The OP's list starts with Mata, and Mata starts looking better and better the more names you roll past.
Our best winger in the past decade had the pace of a snail and the upper body strength of a 10 year old girl. Pretty damning
 

el3mel

Full Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2016
Messages
43,702
Location
Egypt
Rashford, Mata and to lesser extent Martial, are the only ones who performed for us on the flanks.

Di Maria could have been the best of them all but LVG fecked it badly imo.
 

MadDogg

Full Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
15,735
Location
Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are the only three that were close to good enough. Rashford has gone on to be way too inconsistent, Martial the same and changed position, Greenwood....well, yeah.

Hopefully Garnacho can join those three then kick on and reach a higher, more consistent level.

Obviously Di Maria had that explosive start where he was fantastic, but that obviously didn't last.
 

MadDogg

Full Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
15,735
Location
Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
  • No words on Alexis. How a player can immediately go from being one of the best wingers in the world to literally useless in a matter of months is still perplexing.
Alexis had actually been playing mostly as a striker for the 18 months before we signed him if I remember correctly. That probably somewhat hid the fact he was starting to lose his legs.

We had Lukaku up front who was starting to struggle to score goals, the likes of Mata and Lingard struggling on the right, and a Martial who had been our best player for a month or two (with backup from a young, still hard-working Rashford) on the left. It still blows my mind that Mourinho decided it'd be the latter who would lose his spot when we signed Sanchez. Go forward about 8 months and Mourinho desperately turns to Martial again who proceeds to save his job for another couple of months.
 

anant

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
8,246
I'll omit Pogba, Cavani, Bruno and Mount as they aren't really wingers. I'll also omit Diallo and Pellestri since they haven't played enough in my opinion.

Boy what a sad list that is! :lol: Considering everything (top level, average level, price and output) I end up with something like this:

(Good)
1. Rashford

(Acceptable)
2. Martial
3. Mata

(cnut tier)
4. Greenwood (goddammit, he would probably at least be 2nd by now if he wasn't who he is)
5. Di Maria (dickhead)

(Meh, jury still out)
6. Garnacho

(Not good enough but could be useful sometimes)
7. Lingard
8. James
9. Januzaj

(So shit that I refuse to rank them)
- Memphis
- Mkhitaryan
- Alexis
- Sancho
- Antony
Exactly this.
 

KeanoMagicHat

Full Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
3,880
Greenwood was not consistently good, he had a purple patch not long after he got in the team (as did Martial at that time) but he wasn't great before the incident, very selfish player who played the role like a striker, was good for his stats but not necessarily the team.
 

DWelbz19

Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
33,590
Amad Diallo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial top tier, the rest are all whatever. Pogba is not a winger.
 

johannes_fd

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
68
Antony at the bottom. Rest is a mix of shit, mediocre and promising, but never permanent class. Guess im harsh on Rashford, but hes the definition of a purple patch player.

Of course its hard to be 100% objective here, but given transfer fee and wages Antony has solidified his position at the bottom for me. Also his off and on-field issues and general attitude makes him really hard to like or cheer for.
 

Dazzmondo

Full Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
8,934
Alexis had actually been playing mostly as a striker for the 18 months before we signed him if I remember correctly. That probably somewhat hid the fact he was starting to lose his legs.

We had Lukaku up front who was starting to struggle to score goals, the likes of Mata and Lingard struggling on the right, and a Martial who had been our best player for a month or two (with backup from a young, still hard-working Rashford) on the left. It still blows my mind that Mourinho decided it'd be the latter who would lose his spot when we signed Sanchez. Go forward about 8 months and Mourinho desperately turns to Martial again who proceeds to save his job for another couple of months.
You might be right on Alexis, but he was definitely still playing a considerable number of games on the lw, because I remember Giroud was starting a lot of games that season. Your point on Martial is correct. That was probably the best run of form he was in and it all fell apart once he was moved to the right to accommodate Sanchez
 

Von Mistelroum

Full Member
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
3,913
Greenwood
Garnacho
Mata
*Huge gaping chasm*
Lingard
Rashford
Pellistri
Sancho
Diallo
Mkhitaryan
Januzaj
Di Maria
Memphis
Martial
Alexis
James
Antony
 

Yagami

Good post resistant
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
13,366
Rashford and Greenwood under Ole, Martial in his debut season and Januzaj in his debut season were the only wide players I think were near even acceptable standards. The rest you can all lump together as eyesores.
 
Last edited:

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
18,360
Supports
Mejbri
Of that lot (who play consistently out wide) Greenwood is miles and miles ahead of everyone else. On form Rashford is a sight to behold but his bottom level is low and also quite frequently on display. A motivated Di Maria would have been great for us if he'd also have joined a non anti-football side, which we were back then.

Greenwood


Garnacho



Rashford
 

Offside

Euro 2016 sweepstake winner
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
26,573
Location
London
Greenwood was genuinely a class act in the making. Shame.
 

Freak

Born a freak always a freak.
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
22,834
Location
Somewhere in your mind, touching a nerve
That’s a pretty sad list to rank.

But I’d probably say
- Greenwood before he became a cnut
- Rashford for his 1 good season
- Garnacho who has shown potential
- Mata for a few games here and there
- Januzaj who I thought was going to be really good for us but turned out meh

the rest are pure shit.
 

Von Mistelroum

Full Member
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
3,913
Now THIS is recency bias!
Not really. I picked Greenwood because he actually played well there and very few others have. Garnacho because he's a talented kid and an actual winger, and Mata because he was a class player unlike many on this list. I've never rated Rashford, and he's been very poor for a good while other than that purple patch. At least some of the others could pass or go round a defender, or track back.
 

Carl

has permanently erect nipples
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
45,316
Never mind "post SAF". Our wingers post Ronaldo aren't anything to write home about.