Redcafe's Favourite United Players 2021

Wumminator

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Hello all,

Recently I asked you to vote on your favourite Manchester United players of all time. We had around 125 voters who all listed out their favourite players. I've now compiled this into a list of 86 players who RedCafe have chosen.

I will update this thread over the next few weeks with the top players. Please feel free to reminisce about your favourite moments with some of these players.

Current List:
85. Shinji Kagawa
85. Ravel Morrison
80. Ander Herrera
80. Harry Maguire
80. Josh Harrop
80. Tony Dunne
80. Joe Jordan


Included below is the list from 2019:
95.Gary Bailey
95. Wes Brown
95. Pat Crerand
95. Eric Djemba Djemba
95. Jonny Evans
95. Falcao
95. Marcus Rojo
95. Luke Shaw
95. Tommy Taylor
90. Clayton Blackmore
90. Darron Gibson
90. Antonio Valencia
90. Billy Meredith
90. Gordon McQueen
88. Nicky Butt
88. Alex Stepney
84. Gordon Strachan
84. Arthur Albiston
84. Tom Cleverley
84. Jack Rowley
81. Roger Byrne
81. Jimmy Greenhoff
81. Ronny Johnsen
78. Marouane Fellaini
78. Jesper Olsen
78. Charlie Roberts
77. Chris Smalling
73. Nemanja Matic
73. Johnny Carey
73. Alan Smith
73. Bastian Schweinsteiger
71. Mick Duxbury
71. Joe Spence
70. Nobby Stiles
66. Daley Blind
66. Mark Robins
66. Frank Stapleton
66. Sandy Turnbull
65. Louis Saha
62. Shinji Kagawa
62. Henrik Larsson
62.Sammy Mcllroy
61. Gordon Hill
59. Paul Ince
59. Jesse Lingard
57. John O’Shea
57. Carlos Tevez
56. Danny Welbeck
55. Steve Bruce
54. Juan Sebastian Veron.
53. Duncan Edwards
52. Ray Wilkins
51. Gary Pallister
50. Teddy Sheringham
49. Diego Forlan
48. Brian McClair
47. Steve Coppell
46. Stuart Pearson
45. Martin Buchan
44. Lee Sharpe
42. Anthony Martial
42. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
40. Juan Mata
40. Paul McGrath
39. Nani
37. Marcus Rashford
37. Dwight Yorke
36. Rafael da Silva
34. Anderson
34. Javier Hernandez
33. Norman Whiteside
32. Darren Fletcher
31. Jaap Stam
30. Denis Law
29. Mark Hughes
28. Andrei Kanchelskis
27. Dimitar Berbatov
26. Edwin Van Der Sar
25. Gary Neville
24. Robin Van Persie
23. Ander Herrera
22. Andy Cole
20. Park Ji Sung
20. Paul Pogba
19. Denis Irwin
18. Peter Schmeichel
17. Michael Carric
16. Bobby Charlton
15. George Best
14. Patrice Evra
13. Bryan Robson
12. Ruud Van Nistelrooy
11. Nemanja Vidic
10. Rio Ferdinand
9. Wayne Rooney
8. David de Gea
7. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
6. Roy Keane
5. David Beckham
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Ryan Giggs
2. Eric Cantona
1. Paul Scholes

Here is the original list from 2016:
56.Anderson
56.Crerand
56. Gregg
56.Rossi
56. Shaw
56. Sherringham
56. Stapleton
56. Tevez
50. Herrera
50. Martial
50. O'Shea
50. Pallister
50. Rafael
50. Schweinsteiger
48. Di Maria
48. Mata
45.Saha
45. Sharpe
45. Strachan
44. Yorke
42.Petrucci
42. Smith
39. Coppell
39. Kagawa
39.Nani
36.Buchan
36. Taylor
36.Valencia
34.Chicarito
34.Viollet
32.Van Persie
32. Whiteside
30. Carrick
30. McGrath
29.Berbatov
28. Kanchelskis
27. Bruce
26. Stam
25. Park
24.VDS
23. Cole
22.Hughes
21. Irwin
20. De Gea
19. Neville
18. Solskjaer
17. Rooney
16. Evra
15. Vidic
14. Edwards
13. Nistelrooy
12. Law
11.Ferdinand
10. Beckham
9. Robson
8. Schmeichel
7. Charlton
6. Best
5. Keane
4. Giggs
3. Cantona
2. Ronaldo
1. Scholes
 
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Wumminator

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People who made the list last time but have not shown up this time. (Previous year in brackets)

Gary Bailey (95)
Pat Crerand (95)
Eric Djemba Djemba (95)
Jonny Evans (95)
Falcao (95)
Marcus Rojo (95)
Darron Gibson (90)
Clayton Blackmore (90)
Billy Meredith (90)
Gordon McQueen (90)
Alex Stepney (88)
Arthur Albiston (84)
Tom Cleverley (84)
Jack Rowley (84)
Roger Byrne (81)
Jimmy Greenhoff (81)
Marouane Fellaini (78)
Jesper Olsen (78)
Charlie Roberts (78)
Nemanja Matic (73)
Johnny Carey (73)
Alan Smith (73)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (73)
Mick Duxbury (71)
Joe Spence (71)
Nobby Stiles (70)
Mark Robins (66)
Frank Stapleton (66)
Sandy Turnbull (66)
Sammy Mcllroy (62)
Gordon Hill (61)
Jesse Lingard (59)
Juan Sebastian Veron (54)
Ray Wilkins (52)

 

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Joint 85th
(Two Players)
One point each


85. Shinji Kagawa (61) (39)



Premier League Appearances - 31 (7)
Overall Appearances - 46 (11)
Premier League Goals - 6
Overall Goals - 6
Position - Attacking Midfielder


Manchester United's first ever Japanese player was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's last ever signings. Arriving in Manchester from Dortmund on the 5th June, 2012 the silky playmaker was immediately hailed as a shrewd piece of business, with the player known for his creative style and intricate passing. Shinji initially looked to be a fantastic signing, scoring on his home debut against Fulham in front of the Old Trafford faithful and in September continued his form assisting Michael Carrick in his first Champions League game. Shinji's cultured style was very easy on the eye and he was constantly looking to play quick intricate football. An injury in October then limited his playing time for the next three months and his international commitments for Japan often meant he would struggle to be match fit for the season. Despite this Shinji became the first Asian player to score a hat trick in a 4-0 rout v Norwich and also collected a Premier League winners medal. On the last day of the season Shinji Kagawa scored in the 5-5 thriller against West Bromwich Albion to cap off a debut season with six league goals.

However, at the end of that season Ferguson would retire and David Moyes was replaced the Manchester United legend. Shinji struggled to match the promise that he initially had been brought for, and would only appear in 18 games that season in the Premier League. He would play 30 games overall without a single goal and found it hard to adapt to the Scottish manager's style of play. When Louis Van Gaal took over many hoped it would kick start Shinji's career but LVG informed Kagawa that he was not in his plans following the signings of Angel Di Maria and Falcao. Kagawa would return to Dortmund and still plays in Europe now for PAOK in the Greek league.

Since starting this list you can see that Kagawa's standing among RedCafe posters has fallen. After initially breaking the top forty in 2016, Kagawa received one solitary point this time around. After starting with a flourish, this is a disappointing showing for Kagawa and that perfectly symbolises his playing days at Manchester United.
 
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85.Ravel Morrison (NA) (NA)

Premier League Appearances - 0 (0)
Overall Appearances - 0 (3)
Premier League Goals - 0
Overall Goals -0
Position - Attacking Midfielder


There will not be many players on this list that never played a minute in the Premier League for Manchester United. Indeed, Ravel Morrison never once managed to complete ninety minutes for Manchester United's senior team. However, the story of Morrison is completely intertwined with Manchester United and speaks to the club's desire to develop and nurture youth.

Born in Wythenshawe in 1993, Morrison signed his first professional contract at Manchester United in 2017, eight years after he had first arrived at the academy. Described by Ferguson as 'the best player he had seen at that age' Morrison was a revelation for United's academy. His hat-trick against Liverpool reserves excited United fans worldwide and it was surely only a matter of time before his natural talent graced Old Trafford on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, this was never to be. Due to much publicised demons and numerous run ins with the law Ravel Morrison never had the impact he should have done. Speaking recently to Rio Ferdinand, Morrison opened up about all the mistakes he has made in his career and it has led to the 28 year old currently being without a club after being let go by Dutch football club AGO Den Haag earlier this month. However, Sir Alex Ferguson also revealed he was the only youth player to ever hand write him a letter thanking him after he made his debut (a league cup game against Wolves in 2010).

Morrison makes his first appearance on this list. He isn't there because of his first team appearances, he is there because he represents United's great youth academy and the hope we all hold for the youngsters in our squad.
 

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It is going to be slightly slow going from me this year sorry! Got a few jobs to do over the next few weeks but I will update slowly. I'll probably get around to a few more later!
 

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Joint 80th
(Five Players)
Two points each


80. Ander Herrera (23) (50)


Premier League Appearances - 132
Overall Appearances - 189
Premier League Goals - 12
Overall Goals - 20
Position - Centre Midfield

After a long (and somewhat embarrassing) transfer saga Ander Herrera arrived at Manchester United in the summer of 2014. Rumours that the Spaniard would arrive at Old Trafford had been swirling around since David Moyes' troubled tenure, but it was Louis Van Gaal finally signed the midfielder from Bilbao for around £40 million.

Thus begun a five year career at Manchester United which culminated with the Spaniard leaving to join PSG on a free. Initially his United career started in a very promising manner, with the midfielder scoring a goal and claiming an assist in a 4-0 demolition of QPR on his first full 90 minutes for the team. United fans quickly fell in love with Herrera's style. He was combative and energetic and added a speed to United's style of play. He would have fantastic performances throughout his first two seasons, including a brace against Aston Villa and a scintillating performance against Everton at Goodison Park.

His most telling contribution during LVG's tenure was an important assist for Martial in the FA Cup Semi Final which sent United onto winning their first major trophy since Alex Ferguson had retired. Herrera would have been disappointed to not take part in the final at Wembley this year, but he still managed to pick up his first piece of silverware at the club.In his first two years at the club Herrera had netted nine goals and become an important member of the team.

As Mourinho took over in the summer of 2016, Herrera still found himself used mainly as a substitute at the start of the season. However, it wouldn't be long before he started featuring in more games and eventually would be a major factor in United's impressive season. He got an assist for the winner in the League Cup Final and then followed that up with a man of the match performance in the Europa League Final and the coveted Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

Herrera started brightly under Ole Gunnar Solskajer's management and picked up United's player of the month in February 2019. However, due to contract negotiations breaking down he left on a free at the end of this season. He would go onto play for PSG and play in the 2020 Champions League Final. His somewhat low-key exit may explain why he has dropped from the top 25 in the last round of votes to only making one list in 2021.
 

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80. Joe Jordan (New Entry)


First Division Appearances -109
Overall Appearances - 126
First Division Goals - 37
Overall Goals - 41
Position - Centre Midfield


There were few more fearsome sights in the late 70s than Scottish forward Joe Jordan chasing around on a football pitch. A no nonsense centre forward, Jordan earned the nickname 'Jaws' after losing two of his front teeth in his early playing career. Jordan had joined Manchester United in the middle of the 1977/1978 season from arch rivals Leeds United after a prolonged transfer battle. At the time the sum of £350,000 was a record transfer fee played between two English clubs and Jordan arrived with a reputation as a hard centre forward, blessed with a fantastic header and a powerful shot.

It didn't take long before Jordan became an Old Trafford favourite. He would go on to make over 100 appearances for the Red Devils and won plaudits for his no-nonsense playing style and excellent team ethic. Jordan suffered a severe injury in his first full season at United and missed four months of the season. Despite this, he still notched up a respectable 10 goals across all competitions and played in the remarkable 1979 FA Cup final that ultimately ended in a loss for Manchester United. This was to be the closest the striker got to a trophy in his four years at the club.

At the end of the 1981 season, United manager Dave Sexton resigned and he was to be replaced by Ron Atkinson. Ultimately, this spelled the end of the Scottish striker's time at the club and he moved to Italy to play for Milan. Jordan eventually retired in 1990 after scoring an impressive 130 goals across a career that spanned two decades. A welcome addition to this list.
 

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85.Harry Maguire (NA) (NA)

Premier League Appearances - 67 (0)
Overall Appearances -98 (1)
Premier League Goals -3
Overall Goals -5
Position -Central Defender


Manchester United's record defensive signing makes his first appearance on this list as he enters into the conclusion of his second season at the club. Signed for around £80 million on the fifth of August 2019, Harry has been an ever present for the United backline in the following two seasons and has been an integral part of Manchester United's fight back to the top of the Premier League.

Born in Sheffield, the tall and imposing centre back has risen through the ranks of English football. Initially making his debut in League One ; Maguire's ascendency now sees him as a stalwart of Manchester United and England. He was the first outfield Manchester United player to play every minute of a league season since 1995 when he helped the Red Devils to third place in the 2019/2020 season and has been an ever present figure in the following year as well. In an increasingly competitive footballing environment, Harry's dependability and physical presence has seen Manchester United improve their defensive record and helped to guide some of the more inexperienced defenders who play alongside him.

To this day there is still plenty of talk about the extortionate fee that Manchester United paid for the defender. This online debate will continue for many more years. United fans will be hoping that Maguire will continue to justify his fee and start to collect some trophies along the way.
 

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85.Tony Dunne (NA) (NA)


First Division Appearances - 414 (0)
Overall Appearances -535 (0)
First Division Goals -2
Overall Goals - 2
Position -Left Back


Tony Dunne currently stands at eighth on Manchester United's all time appearances list with an incredible 535 appearances. Throughout his thirteen years at the club Dunne represented United with dignity and the hard tackling Irish full-back is one of United's most dedicated players. Despite this he has never been voted on this list before and it is great to see him remembered after his passing in 2020.

Signed from Shelbourne in 1960, Dunne was originally a backup full back but his big break came in the 1963 FA Cup Final after an injury to Shay Brennan. United were 3-1 winners that day and it would be the ignition that sparked Tony Dunne's career. He would only miss four games in the league over the next four years and became a fixture at left back. He would win two league titles in that time and would start in United's first successful Champions League campaign in 1968.

Bobby Charlton would describe Dunne as the best left back in Europe and his performance in the 1968 Champions League Final earned Dunne plenty of plaudits. However, Dunne was a reluctant hero. He did not relish life in the limelight and left United in acrimonious circumstances in 1973. He would go on and make over 200 appearances for Bolton and become a club legend at another Northern club.
 

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85.Josh Harrop (NA) (NA)


Premier League Appearances - 1
Overall Appearances -1
Premier League Goals -1
Overall Goals - 1
Position -Attacking Midfielder


We end our run of the players with two points with one of the strangest inclusions on this list. Not many players have a 100% scoring rate for Manchester United but there are also few players with such a forgettable Manchester United career. Josh Harrop was born in Stockport and was originally tipped for big things in the United reserve squads. Harrop represented the United youth team for five years before being given his only game in the famous red shirt against Crystal Palace in the last game of the 2017 season.

United were due to play against Ajax in the Europa League final on the following Wednesday, so United manager Jose Mourinho selected four youngsters for their first team debut. Youngsters such as Castro Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensa and Demetri Mitchell were all handed games but it was Harrop in particular who stood out, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 win and picking up a Man of the Match award. His goal meant he became United's 100th scorer in the Premier League era.

I'm not sure how this appearance was enough for anyone to vote for Harrop in this list. Since his United appearance the player has gone onto play for Preston North End where he has gone to carve out a very good career for himself in the lower leagues of English football. Maybe the voter has a soft spot for Preston or even knew Harrop growing up. Either way, he's somehow made it onto this list!
 

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Now comes a list of TEN players who all get three points! Welcome to the 70 club.

70. Wes Brown (94) (NA)


Premier League Appearances - 203 (29)
Overall Appearances - 313 (49)
Premier League Goals - 3
Overall Goals - 5
Position - Centre Back/Right Back


Wesley Michael Brown joined United's academy at the tender age of 12 years old. Born in inner city Longsight, Brown would go on to spend almost two decades at his boyhood club and make over 350 appearances in the famous red shirt. By the time he left Manchester United, Brown had secured five Premier League trophies, been involved in two Champions League wins and been named in the Premier League Team of the Year. Equally as important, he had proven himself as a fan favourite and to this day you can still hear Wes Brown songs sung at Old Trafford

The defender was a member of Manchester United's first team squad for fourteen years. Alex Ferguson once famously described him as the 'best natural defender' at the club and it was that natural talent that saw Brown filling in all across the defence. Brown's highlight at the club came during the 2008 season, when he established himself as United's first choice right back. Playing in a Champions League final, Brown delivered a fantastic cross for Ronaldo to head home, a goal that would eventually help United secure their third Champions League trophy in the club's history.

It is a shame that Wes Brown would suffer so many injuries throughout his tenure at Old Trafford. He would struggle to maintain fitness at times and missed years of his career due to persistent injury troubles. Indeed, despite being in the first team squad for fourteen years, he only appeared over 35 times in only four of those seasons. Nevertheless, fans hold the orange defender in high esteem and it is great to see him on this list.
 

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70. Teddy Sheringham (49) (56)


Premier League Appearances - 73 (31)
Overall Appearances - 101 (52)
Premier League Goals - 31
Overall Goals - 46
Position - Striker



"When I saw Basler waving to the fans it gave me the hump, I wanted to get out there and show them."


Teddy Sheringham had the completely unenviable task of filling the massive hole left by Eric Cantona after his abrupt retirement from football at a young age. Signed from Tottenham for 3.5 million pounds in 1997, Sheringham was actually two months older than the retiring Frenchman and at the time the signing raised a few eyebrows. Four years later Sheringham would leave Old Trafford having immortalised himself in United folklore with a goal in the most famous match in the club's illustrious history.

It didn't always look like it would work out. Sheringham missed a penalty on his United debut against his former club and his first season didn't exactly pan out the way he had hoped. He would score 14 goals in all competitions during his first season at the club, a respectable outlay but nowhere near enough to fill the massive hole left by Cantona. His relationship with strike partner Andy Cole deteriorated massively and the pair stopped speaking to each other. After 12 months at the club, Sheringham remained trophyless, a fact that opposition fans would point out as much as they possibly could.

Flash forward to the end of 1999 and Sheringham had fulfilled all his ambitions after signing for the Manchester club. He would play in seventeen games across the league season and help United win the league, securing Sheringham's first major honour in football at the age of 33. A few weeks later Sheringham would score the first goal in the FA Cup Final to capture the double for United. The best was yet to come as Sheringham scored an incredibly late goal in the 1999 Champions League Final to equalise for Manchester United. Minutes later with just seconds left of the game, Sheringham got a crucial flick towards Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer to bundle in the winner. Sheringham finished the season having completed an historic treble.

He would add another two league titles in the years that followed and left the club after four stellar seasons. His fourth season at the club saw him score 21 goals across all competitions, his most he would ever score for United. At age 35 he returned to Tottenham Hotspur, his trophy cabinet bursting after four successful years at United.