1. Anthony Martial
The 19 year old Frenchman made the move from Monaco to Manchester United for an initial fee £36m smashing the previous record fee of Luke Shaw again bought by United for £31m from Southampton. Martial came from the Lyon youth academy. He lived upto to the expectations by scoring important goals for his team even in Rooney’s absence. His form even earned him a call from the national team and is now representing France in the Euros. Born in Massy, France, Martial spent his youth in Paris-based Club Omnisports des Ulis from 2001, French internationals Thierry Henry and Patrice Evra also started their careers there. Martial often gets compared with Henry and his pace and finishing skills are really tough to handle for the opposition’s defense.
2. Luke Shaw
The former Southampton left back was bought for 31m by United. He was raised in the Southampton’s youth academy. After graduation, he became an important part of the Southampton side under Ronald Koeman, which went on to qualify for the Europa League finishing 7th (a club record). He got injured in Man Utd’s UEFA Champions League match against PSV. Shaw was arguably England’s best left back at that time. He will miss the Euro and Danny Rose has taken his place now.
Key stats (SpG=Shots per game, PS=pass success percentage)
Tournament Apps Mins Goals Assists Yel Red SpG PS %AerialsWon
Premier League 5 450 – 1 1 – 0.2 86
UEFA 1 24 – – – – – 100
Total / Average 6 474 0 1 1 0 0.2 88.3
3. Wayne Rooney
The United and England captain moved from Everton to Manchester United for 26 million in 2004. Arguably the best Manchester United player in last decade after Cristiano Ronaldo , Rooney went on to break records for United. He partnered Ruud van Nistelrooy , Ronaldo , Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov during his career. From scoring a volley against Man City to scoring from the goal line on the last Barclays Premier League match day, Rooney has been United’s most important player.
He is just a few goals shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal tally for United but has already broken the latter’s tally for England. He is a versatile player because he can play anywhere you want him to. Starting as centre forward Rooney has now taken on the role of a midfielder. The former Everton forward caught Sir Alex Ferguson’s attention and he sent scouts to analyze his gameplay and techniques, later on buying him on a record fee for a teenager at that time.
Another Manchester United player , but unlike the other 3 before him, he failed to deliver. The Porto midfielder was bought for 27m by Sir Alex and this was one of his biggest blunders as United manager. The midfielder never reached his full potential and was even termed as “the least intelligent player I have ever played with” by his former teammate Wes Brown. Even though he won 4 Premier League titles with United, he never lived upto Ferguson’s expectations and the price tag as well.
The Brazilian did win the Golden Boy honour in 2008 as Europe’s most promising under-21 player and was even being described at one point of time as “The New Kaka” yet, he ended up being an overrated player. United bought him looking at his box to box abilities and vision but he never reached the potential he was expected to and ended up being sold eventually to his homeland club Internacional, making just 20 appearances in his last two seasons.
00 (0)00 (0)00 (0)000 (0)00 (0)0
|CLUB||FROM||TO||FEE||LEAGUE||FA CUP||LGE CUP||OTHER|
|Fiorentina||16 Jan, 14||19 May, 14||Loan||4 (3)|
|Man Utd||02 Jul, 07||02 Feb, 15||£27,000,000||70 (35)||5||11 (5)||0||15 (2)||1||30 (11)||3|
|Porto||01 Jul, 05||02 Jul, 07||£6,300,000||11 (7)||2||0 (0)|
|Gremio||01 Jul, 03||31 May, 05||Youth||No appearance data available|
|Totals||£33,300,000||85 (45)||7||11 (5)||0||15 (2)||1||30 (11)||3|
|Goals per Game||0.05||0||n/a||0.07|
5. Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea bought the 18 year old Lukaku from Anderlecht in 2011 for 17m. The Belgian became one of the hottest youth talents in the market. Though he didn’t impress with Chelsea, he showed good form during loan spells to West Brom and Everton and the latter ended up buying him. Now representing his country in the Euros he has already scored 2 goals and has the potential to become better. His height makes his headers a strong point and he is a clinical finisher. He was bought due to his form at Anderlecht even though he was a teenager. He was even named as one of the top 10 most promising talents by The Guardian.
|2012–2013||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||35||(17)|
|2013–2014||→ Everton (loan)||31||(15)|
6. Calum Chambers
The 19 year old Southampton defender was bought by Arsenal for 16m and has proved to be a good investment. He can play both as right back and centre back and has decent crossing skills as well. Like Shaw, Chambers is another Southampton Academy product , he did well under Koeman helping the side to a record 7th place finish at that time making 25 appearances in the progress.
The young full back caught Arsenal’s eye and Arsene Wenger termed him as ‘one for the future’. Though he started off well, he is now out of the starting XI and hasn’t even started a game since March 19. Once tipped to book a place in the Euro squad, he didn’t even made the provisional squad. Instead former teammate Nathaniel Clyne has been called as a right back alongside Kyle Walker. A new season awaits Chambers now and he still can show why he was so sought after.