Manchester United are widely regarded as one of the biggest clubs in world football. The Red Devils have never shied away from spending the big bucks in the transfer market, with the recent additions of harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Bruno Fernandes adding value to their claims.
However, several times in the past, the record English champions have announced signings out of nowhere, sending shockwaves across the footballing world. While not all of them clicked, they indeed came with high expectations from the beginning.
Some were surprising because the players were virtually unknown and, as such, their move to the legendary club raised a lot of questions. Others, however, came entirely out of the blue without any prior rumours and speculations - a feat that United repeated in 2016 with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer.
Here are five signings by Manchester United that materialised out of nowhere.
Bebe grew up in exceptionally adverse circumstances in Portugal and fought his fair share of battles to make it as a professional footballer. His move to Manchester United was quite surprising, and Sir Alex himself admitted later that he had never watched him play.
Often mentioned among the worst signings in Manchester United history, Bebe played dangerously with controversies and bankruptcy during his time at Old Trafford while contributing next to nothing.
Unable to perform well, he was sent out on loan to the Turkish side Besiktas, Portuguese side Rio Ave, Pacos de Ferreira before being sold to Benfica in 2014.
#4 Henrik Larsson
Henrik Larsson's loan move to Manchester United was short-lived and surprising in the sense that he did not even amass ten appearances for the club. The loan deal came between January and March in 2007, the period coinciding with the break in the Swedish League.
Larsson, however, made significant contributions in his short stint at the club. He scored the Red Devils' only goal against Lille at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League, a goal that earned them a 1-1 draw.
Sir Alex Ferguson, more than once, admitted that he admired the professionalism that Larsson brought to the club and always supported the player. Manchester United won the Premier League two months after Larsson left the club to return to Helsingborg.
Such was his contribution that the United officials wrote to the organisers of the Premier League to request an extra medal for Larsson even though he did not officially qualify for one.
Larsson's stint at Old Trafford, although short-lived, was a memorable one and the Swede is remembered as a cult-hero till date.
#3 Eric Djemba-Djemba
There has been a standing joke at Manchester United that Eric Djemba-Djemba was so bad, they named him twice. The Cameroonian international arrived at Old Trafford when he was virtually unknown to fans and pundits alike. It was a shock transfer under Sir Alex, as Djemba-Djemba was brought in as Roy Keane's replacement.
The move that happened in 2003 seemed to be a dream transfer for the midfielder from Nantes. He stayed for 18 months at the club and was unable to hit the ground running, as Keane's shoes proved to be too steep to fill.
The only highlight of his time at Manchester United came when he scored a looping volley against Leeds United in the League Cup.
#2 Juan Sebastian Veron
Juan Sebastian Veron finds himself among some of the worst signings of the club under Sir Alex Ferguson. The South American was an expensive buy for Manchester United, who arrived at Old Trafford from Lazio with a formidable reputation. His was a surprise signing too, as he generated the right amount of excitement among supporters, who thought he would be a successful signing for the club.
The established Argentine, however, failed miserably at Old Trafford and never really recovered after a bad start. Despite this, he never lost the support of Sir Alex Ferguson.
At least in public, he always stood by Veron and once chased out reporters from a training session when they dared to question him. The sight of Sir Alex chasing after reporters and shouting, "He's a f****** great player, and you're all f****** idiots," must have indeed been priceless.
#1 Radamel Falcao
The captain of the Colombian national team, as well as their top scorer, Radamel Falcao created a huge stir when he came on loan to Manchester United in 2014. El Tigre, as he is referred to, was one of the biggest Deadline Day signings that year, and his deal took the summer spending amount to a record of £834 million.
He was certified matchwinner, and his arrival brought a lot of promise to the club. Previously in the transfer window, there was no indication that Manchester United was even interested in him.
However, the loan deal took place with an option to buy at the end of the season. His first appearance for the club invited loud cheers from the stands of Old Trafford, but he did not live up to his reputation during his stay at Manchester United.
With just four goals in 29 appearances for the Red Devils, Falcao joined Chelsea on loan in the season that followed and returned to Monaco after two underwhelming stints in the Premier League.