What is it with Manchester United and big-money midfielders?
As the team news filtered out before the Red Devil’s League Cup derby with Manchester City, it was quickly noted that one of the headline names was in fact a name not in the starting eleven, or even on the bench.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as Jose Mourinho declared, was fully fit, yet still wasn’t in the squad.
The Armenian was hyped as a major part of the United rejuvenation following a £35m move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
After scoring and assisting his way to a stunning 53 goals from 52 appearances with BvB last season, hopes were high.
But it appears the winger’s Old Trafford career may be over already, although at least Mkhitaryan can take solace in joining these other expensive flops…
Juan Sebastian Veron
As the man who inspired Lazio to Scudetto glory, Juan Sebastian Veron’s record-breaking £28.1m move to United in 2001 was supposed to be the catalyst for even greater dominance from the Red Devils.
But the Argentine midfield never adapted to the rigours of British football, and despite some fine performances in Europe, Sir Alex Ferguson cut his losses.
Veron was flogged to Chelsea for just £15m after only two seasons in Manchester.
Angel di Maria
Another Premier League record signing, Angel Di Maria arrived in Manchester in 2014 for a stonking £59.7m from Real Madrid.
Expectation was oh so high for the Argentine star, who was arguably Los Blancos’ finest player in their 2013-14 campaign.
But it just never happened for him. Under Louis van Gaal’s rigid football, an encouraging start quickly gave way to ignominy. Injury and an attempted burglary on his home ensured he never settled in the north west.
After just one year of a five-season contract, Di Maria was off to PSG in 2015 with United taking a £15m hit on the deal.
Watch this space
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