The last signing that genuinely improved as a player at United?

BusbyMalone

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I created a thread the other day about how many post-Fergie signings have genuinely improved as a player during their time at United. Unsurprisingly, the answer is not many. If any at all.

So I thought I'd open it up and ask more broadly: who was the last signing that genuinely improved as a player during their time at this club? Go back as far as you want. The player in question doesn’t necessarily have to still be here.

Depressingly, I think I would have to go back to the 11/12 season and say De Gea. He's obviously had his ups and downs, but I think everyone would agree that he genuinely improved during his time here and was arguably one of the best keepers (if not the best) in the world for a few seasons.

Maybe you disagree. Who's yours?
 

Yagami

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Most recent one would be Blind for me. Was a pretty average DM who van Gaal turned into a very good CB.
 

Pexbo

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Luke Shaw, Fred and Lindelof all had difficult started with us followed by reasonable growth as players. They’ve all had patches of bad form following that growth though.
 

davidmichael

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RVP instantly comes to mind as he almost single-handedly won us the title and then there’s also Fernandes even if he is very out of form.
 

arnie_ni

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RVP instantly comes to mind as he almost single-handedly won us the title and then there’s also Fernandes even if he is very out of form.
He was ready made. I wouldn't say he improved.

I'm not sure if Bruno has improved either. He hit the ground running and has got gradually worse if anything.

You're confusing the question with last good signings, both of which were great signings.
 

Chairman Steve

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I’d say either Hernandez or DDG to be honest, which is an indictment on us as a club that prides itself on developing players.
 

Mike Smalling

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Can you include them, even if they have since turned shit again? Because Martial performed better than expected in his first season and had a really good 2019-20.
 

Tallis

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Lindelof and Fred. Among the youth product, McT and Mason are much better vs where they were when they started.
 

Lynty

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Donny van de Beek has 1 goal contribution per 67mins this season.

During his spell at Ajax he had 1 goal contribution every 167mins.

If that isn't improvement, I don't know what is.
 

BusbyMalone

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Can you include them, even if they have since turned shit again? Because Martial performed better than expected in his first season and had a really good 2019-20.
The post Fergie signings you mean?

Juan Mata
Marouane Fellaini
Angel di Maria
Luke Shaw
Ander Herrera
Marco Rojo
Daley Blind
Radamel Falcao
Anthony Martial
Morgan Schneiderlin
Memphis Depay
Matteo Darmian
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Sergio Romero
Paul Pogba
Henrick Miktarian
Eric Bailly
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Romelu Lukaku
Nemanja Matić
Victor Lindelof
Alexis Sanchez
Fred
Diogo Dalot
Harry Maguire
Bruno Fernandes
Aaron Wan Bissaka
Daniel James
Donny van de Beek
Amad Diallo
Alex Telles
Edison Cavani
Jadon Sancho
Raphael Varane
Cristiano Ronaldo
 

BusbyMalone

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Is Fred rated higher now than when he was at Shaktar?
Definitely not for me. We paid £50m for him, Pep was apparently interested and I think one or two others. There seemed to be a bit of excitement around the signing at least. Contrast that with now, I don't see any "big" club going in for him, and if they do it certainly wouldn't be for £50m.
 

smi11ie

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This is a big thing. Not enough players actually improve. Greenwood is maybe the best one lately but he is not a signing and I am struggling to name one. It feels like there are slim pickings now compared to the Fergie days.
 

Red Shorts

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Christ, this is a good question when you think about it in more depth...

If it's means improvement in where they reached a higher level at one point of their United career, rather than where they are now, then Martial and Shaw are the only two players, post Fergie era, who I say have done so.

Actually shoddy work from us, thinking how we have bought so many players yet their quality drops after joining compared to their old club.
 

ThinkTank@Cafe

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I created a thread the other day about how many post-Fergie signings have genuinely improved as a player during their time at United. Unsurprisingly, the answer is not many. If any at all.

So I thought I'd open it up and ask more broadly: who was the last signing that genuinely improved as a player during their time at this club? Go back as far as you want. The player in question doesn’t necessarily have to still be here.

Depressingly, I think I would have to go back to the 11/12 season and say De Gea. He's obviously had his ups and downs, but I think everyone would agree that he genuinely improved during his time here and was arguably one of the best keepers (if not the best) in the world for a few seasons.

Maybe you disagree. Who's yours?
Wasn’t De Gea signed by Fergie?
 

Abraxas

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Most of them have probably improved to some extent. It just doesn't appear like it because we're asking them to do things that they're incapable of or haven't proven they can do. They've still managed to get us up and around the top 4 in the PL which is a lot better than many were showing at previous clubs.

Of course somebody like Fred is a better player than he was at Shakhtar for example. He was playing in an awful league, playing 2 or 3 competitive games a year. Now he can play every game in the PL to an intensity. It's not possible that he's not a more rounded footballer now.

You can apply this to a lot of players we've bought from far lower profile clubs. Not withstanding this it's obvious we have many that have not got to the level hoped or have seriously stalled.
 

Revaulx

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There's absolutely no doubt that De Gea improved year on year up to when LvG and Franz Hoek were sacked.

His distribution had become pretty decent before then, but Jose's love of having the ball hoofed forward (and possession immediately lost) did him no favours at all.
 

Deery

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You’ve gotta say Memphis Depay has been the only one to improve, sadly not for us though..
 

Ali Dia

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Recently Lindelof James and Fred. Maybe Bruno went up a level from sporting. Shaw was always going to turn out to be a good player. It was always just a case of how good could he become. I fancy Martial to have a resurgence at a new club being the main man with the arm around the shoulder. Technically he’s very good but mentally he’s not at the highest level. Just not a good signing for a club in transition. Apart from Depay Herrera Blind Di Maria and Lukaku everyone else we’ve sold has gone down the game or has fallen off a cliff. That should say enough about the quality of player we are scouting/signing.
 

OmarUnited4ever

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I created a thread the other day about how many post-Fergie signings have genuinely improved as a player during their time at United. Unsurprisingly, the answer is not many. If any at all.

So I thought I'd open it up and ask more broadly: who was the last signing that genuinely improved as a player during their time at this club? Go back as far as you want. The player in question doesn’t necessarily have to still be here.

Depressingly, I think I would have to go back to the 11/12 season and say De Gea. He's obviously had his ups and downs, but I think everyone would agree that he genuinely improved during his time here and was arguably one of the best keepers (if not the best) in the world for a few seasons.

Maybe you disagree. Who's yours?
If we go back a bit, most obvious is CR7, came as flashy 18 yo, left as reigning FIFA player of the year.

You also have Evra + Vidic, joined Jan 2006, they had slow start and blossomed into World Class defenders within 12-18 months.

De Gea was very shaky in his first season and improved and had amazing seasons since SAF left.

from post SAF era, it's difficult to say but the most obvious is Shaw.

Bruno carried his superb form with Sporting when he joined, not an improvement per se but worth mentioning.

the rest, they either maintained their levels or regressed with time.
 

harms

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Can you include them, even if they have since turned shit again? Because Martial performed better than expected in his first season and had a really good 2019-20.
That’s the big question. Otherwise we can certainly include Martial, Shaw, arguably Maguire…
 

Dominos

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There's absolutely no doubt that De Gea improved year on year up to when LvG and Franz Hoek were sacked.

His distribution had become pretty decent before then, but Jose's love of having the ball hoofed forward (and possession immediately lost) did him no favours at all.
De Gea won player of the season 17/18 under Mourinho to be fair so he was definitely still elite post-LVG for a while.

I think his real dip in form came at the end of 18/19 when Ole was interim/newly appointed, he was basically throwing the ball in his own net every single game and Ole's refusal to drop him may well have cost us top 4.
 

The Brown Bull

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He was ready made. I wouldn't say he improved.

I'm not sure if Bruno has improved either. He hit the ground running and has got gradually worse if anything.

You're confusing the question with last good signings, both of which were great signings.
This.
 

poleglass red

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Definitely not for me. We paid £50m for him, Pep was apparently interested and I think one or two others. There seemed to be a bit of excitement around the signing at least. Contrast that with now, I don't see any "big" club going in for him, and if they do it certainly wouldn't be for £50m.
as he was with Sanchez.
 

mu4c_20le

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Dan James, surely. We turned him from a championship player into a deadly PL goalscorer.
 

Skills

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Smalling dramatically improved under Louis Van Gaal's guidance. Became a dominant defender after he had stagnated for a bit.

De Gea was a year on year development from when he joined. Again he probably developed the most under LVG - he was actually sweeping and more confident coming out of the box
 

Revaulx

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De Gea won player of the season 17/18 under Mourinho to be fair so he was definitely still elite post-LVG for a while.
His shot stopping was still top class, certainly. Other aspects of his game, most notably his distribution, had definitely declined though. I'm not sure it was his fault; Jose seemed to like him hoofing it long, and wasn't bothered that the ball was invariably lost. Unless Fellaini was around :drool:
I think his real dip in form came at the end of 18/19 when Ole was interim/newly appointed, he was basically throwing the ball in his own net every single game and Ole's refusal to drop him may well have cost us top 4.
His unexpectedly awful showing at the 2018 World Cup and the subsequent mauling he received from the Spanish press seemed to be the start of it.
 

Revaulx

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Smalling dramatically improved under Louis Van Gaal's guidance. Became a dominant defender after he had stagnated for a bit.

De Gea was a year on year development from when he joined. Again he probably developed the most under LVG - he was actually sweeping and more confident coming out of the box
Very much agree with both of these.

Ashley Young improved as well under LvG, but more so his character than his footballing ability. He was previously an injury-prone diving whingebag, who took weeks and weeks to play himself back into form following an injury. From the moment LvG arrived he transformed into a physical monster, hardly ever injured, and a top professional with decent on-pitch leadership. Characteristics he took with him to Inter and, presumably, Villa. I've never been sure how that happened...
 

noodlehair

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Most recent one would be Blind for me. Was a pretty average DM who van Gaal turned into a very good CB.
He wasn't a good CB though. There was just this weird determination to pretend he was but mainly we defended by just having the ball most of the time and refusing to try and do anything with it.

He'd cost us a game and then some people would just blame every player except him, even when it was obviously his fault, including on one occasion when he came out and apologised for it being his fault.
 

Pogue Mahone

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He wasn't a good CB though. There was just this weird determination to pretend he was but mainly we defended by just having the ball most of the time and refusing to try and do anything with it.

He'd cost us a game and then some people would just blame every player except him, even when it was obviously his fault, including on one occasion when he came out and apologised for it being his fault.
Yeah, Blind was never anything special.

Luke Shaw definitely improved a lot by the time he hit his peak last season (regressed a bit since then though) Think he’s the last signing to improve by any meaningful extent since Chicarito. Which is absolutely damning. The only other players to improve came through the academy. Our scouting is a disgrace really and has been since we signed Ronaldo/Vidic/Evra.

Ask the same question about Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and City and there’s a long list. What the feck have we been up to?!

EDIT: Maybe not Arsenal
 

harms

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Is Fred rated higher now than when he was at Shaktar?
Absolutely not. We were signing him on the back of his wonderful performances in CL, especially against City and his price, while inflated, wasn’t a complete fluke, it represented his quite high level of performances.