Sancho to Man Utd: Pogba, Maguire and the Red Devils' other most expensive signings

By Sports Desk July 23, 2021

Jadon Sancho's long-awaited move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United has finally been completed.

The 21-year-old England international arrives at Old Trafford having scored 50 goals and provided 57 assists in 137 appearances across all competitions for the Bundesliga side. 

He became the first Englishman to reach at least 10 assists for three straight seasons in Europe's top-five leagues since former United star David Beckham, who achieved the feat between 1997-98 and 2000-01.

The €85million (£72.9million) fee makes him the fourth most expensive signing in the Red Devils' history.

Here, Stats Perform looks at how the rest of the top five fared at Old Trafford.


Paul Pogba - £94.5m from Juventus, August 2016

Four years after letting him leave Old Trafford on a free transfer United paid Juventus a then world-record fee to bring the France international back to the club. 

There have been moments of brilliance during his second stint, but he remains a source of much frustration for United fans, who believe he should deliver the kind of displays he does when playing for his country more often at club level. 

His cause has also not been helped by the continued public utterances from his agent, Mino Raiola, that he wants to leave the club, with Real Madrid considered a likely destination. 

Pogba – who enjoyed a fine Euro 2020 for France before they were knocked out in the last 16 by Switzerland – is now into the final 12 months of his contract at United and could well start the 2021-22 season elsewhere if a club comes in with an attractive offer. 

Harry Maguire - £78.3m from Leicester City, July 2019

Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when United paid £78.3m to Leicester City for his services. 

He has been a robust, if unspectacular, presence at the heart of the Red Devils’ backline since then, playing in 71 consecutive league games following his move until an ankle injury against Aston Villa on May 9 ended his 2020-21 campaign early. 

Despite missing the last four games of the season, Maguire ranked second in the Premier League for aerial challenges won (135), fifth for duels won (203) and sixth and seventh respectively for interceptions (60) and recoveries (199).

He was one of England's stars during their stunning Euro 2020 run and will surely arrive back at Old Trafford ahead of the 2021-22 campaign with a spring in his step.

Romelu Lukaku - £76.23m from Everton, July 2017

The Belgium international was the first-choice striker for the best part of 18 months under Jose Mourinho after United stole in ahead of Chelsea to sign him from Everton.

He scored 27 goals in all competitions in his first campaign, but the Portuguese coach's successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferred the more mobile and agile Marcus Rashford to lead the line.

Lukaku still managed to make an impact during his second season, scoring twice in United's famous Champions League turnaround away to Paris Saint-Germain in March, but his tally in all competitions was down to 15. 

He completed a move to Italian giants Inter in 2019 and played a significant role in their 2020-21 title win.

Angel Di Maria - £67.5m from Real Madrid, August 2014

After four hugely successful years at Los Blancos, Di Maria was expected to light up the Premier League. 

A glorious chip against Leicester City early in the season suggested he would do just that, but things fell away dramatically for the Argentina international after that.

He left for Paris Saint-Germain after one disappointing season in which he found the back of the net just four times across all competitions.

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    Sheriff caused a boilover at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the Champions League debutants and Moldovan visitors won 2-1 on Tuesday.

    Jasurbek Yakhshiboev opened the scoring with a powerful header in the first half, before Karim Benzema's emphatic penalty levelled the scores for Madrid.

    But Sebastien Thill rifled home a stunning effort from the edge of the box in the 89th minute to hand the Moldovan outfit a dramatic win in Madrid.

    Los Blancos had 31 shots, hitting the target with 11, and recorded over 75 per cent possession, while Sheriff took just four shots, but came away with all three points in the Spanish capital.

    The result leaves Madrid second in Group D, three points behind Sheriff, who have won their first two games in the competition.

    "More than worried, we're sad," Ancelotti said after the game. "We played with intensity and were looking good. We lost because of small details, even though the side played well. We could've been better when it came to the final third but it's tough to explain.

    "It's small details that cost us this game. It's a lesson for us in the future as it's a defeat we didn't deserve. We had chances, we were creating out wide and [Luka] Jovic came on and had a couple of opportunities. I think that in the end, everything went well for them and bad for us.

    "We've missed out on three points and the group is wide open. We need to win our next game."

    Madrid were beaten for just the second time in their last 32 group-stage games in the Champions League when playing at the Santiago Bernabeu (W25 D5) – losing against CSKA Moscow in December 2018 and Sheriff on Tuesday.

    Los Blancos star Casemiro lamented the team's defensive lapses and profligacy in front of goal on a humbling night for the LaLiga leaders.

    "That's football for you," Casemiro said after the full-time whistle. "One team has more than 20 shots on goal and plays well and the other team that comes here to defend and had two shots go and score twice.

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    "You've got to win in football, but this year we've already produced some poor performances and won, but that wasn't the case tonight. If you're not clinical, you end up paying the price at the back."

    Madrid face Shakhtar Donetsk away from home on October 19 in their next Champions League outing, where they will seek to right the wrongs of their defeat to Sheriff.

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    In one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history, Sheriff claimed a late 2-1 victory at Spanish giants Madrid on Tuesday.

    Jasurbek Yakhshiboev's first-half header was cancelled out by Karim Benzema's spot-kick after the interval in the Spanish capital, given following a VAR check after Vinicius Junior went down in the box.

    However, Sheriff had the final say to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group D, Sebastien Thill's thunderous strike in the 89th minute earning the Moldovan visitors a remarkable triumph.

    "For us this is a dream come true to have won here," Castaneda said. "We're so happy, and just enjoying it. We have full faith in what we've been doing and things are going well for us.

    "We came here to win. We didn't just come here to sit around, we know how good our players are and luckily for us Madrid weren't able to take their chances and we took ours.

    "Thill's goal is out of this world. It's one you dream of. I thanked him at the end of the game!

    "We are dreaming of getting into the last 16 and that's our objective. Our attention now turns to Inter and we'll work hard in order to ensure we keep getting positive results." 

    Sheriff – who beat Albanian champions Tueta Durres, Armenian titleholders Alashkert, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade, Croatian titleholders Dinamo Zagreb and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk during their European campaign this term – became the first team to win their first two games in the Champions League since Premier League outfit Leicester City in the 2016-17 campaign.

    This was just the third ever away victory by a Moldovan team in a major European competition, following Zimbru Chisinau in the UEFA Cup in 1995 and Sheriff themselves in the UEFA Europa League in 2017.

    Sheriff head coach Yuriy Vernydub said: "I'm happy to play a game like that against Madrid. I'm so full of emotion and thankful to my boys for what they've done. They went out there as a side, and we deserved it.

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    Sheriff are three points clear of Madrid atop of Group D, while they are five points ahead of Inter and Shakhtar.

    "We aren't thinking about the last 16 yet as we still haven't done anything extraordinary, we're just going forward step by step," said Vernydub. "We have four very important games to go, and when it comes to the final group stage game then we'll talk about the next round."

    Sheriff match-winner Thill added: "We're so happy today. We played a really good game. The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner.

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