Ranking the 5 greatest bargain signings in Manchester United history

Who tops the list of Manchester United's best bargain signings?
Who tops the list of Manchester United's best bargain signings?

Manchester United have made some incredible signings in the summer transfer window. Bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo for a second stint was one smart move. Whether it was the unexpectedness of the move or the sheer respite of Cristiano Ronaldo not joining Manchester City, the signing has drastically changed the atmosphere.

Manchester United fans are very much in awe of all the signings that have taken place this summer. The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has boosted jersey sales so much that his transfer fee has already been recouped. Now that's some smart and shrewd business from Manchester United.

Some Manchester United signings have been a real bargain

Nowadays, United are more profoundly known for throwing in the cash but things have been different in the past. With the right players available at the right time, United have capitalized on the opportunity in the past.

Especially during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign at Manchester United, some astute signings were made, resulting in some of the finest bargains. Let's take a look at some of the greatest of them.

Honorable Mentions: Teddy Sheringham & Nemanja Vidic

#5 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Right) is Manchester United's manager for more than two years now
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Right) is Manchester United's manager for more than two years now

The current Manchester United manager was the quintessential super-sub for the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the go-to player when goals were desperately needed off the bench. The Norwegian striker signed from Molde in the summer of 1996.

The signing came as a surprise to many as Solskjaer wasn't that well known outside his homeland. Signing him for £1.5 million at that moment was a big gamble from Alex Ferguson but the Scottish manager's fearless approach is what made him great.

Solskjaer turned into a gem of a signing as the former Molde striker scored 126 goals in 365 appearances for Manchester United. Out of 365, 149 of his appearances came as a substitute. Solskjaer scored one of the most memorable goals in Manchester United's history to help them win the Champions League final in 1999 against Bayern Munich, thereby securing the treble.

The striker won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, two Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League and one Intercontinental Cup during his 11-year spell as a United player. Who would have thought £1.5 million can give this good a return?

#4 Edwin van der Sar

Chelsea v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final
Chelsea v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final

Following Peter Schmeichel's exit after the 1999 treble-winning campaign, Manchester United struggled to find a replacement. With the ideas of Fabien Barthez, Roy Carroll, Mark Bosnich, Massimo Taibi and Tim Howard as replacements for Schmeichel not working out, Ferguson displayed some stunning out-of-the-box thinking.

He went for the signature of 35-year old Edwin Van Der Sar who then played for Fulham. Given the age of Van der Sar, many doubted the efficiency of this move. The Dutch goalkeeper was signed for a fee of £2 million in 2005.

In his six years at Manchester United, Van der Sar averaged more than 40 appearances per season. His shot-stopping ability and composure using his feet gave a lot of comfort to the United defense. The former Ajax goalkeeper went on to win the Premier League four times with United, along with the Champions League once and the FA Community Shield thrice. Van der Sar also added the League Cup and Club World Cup to his trophy cabinet at United.

Not many achieved what Van der Sar achieved at his age, especially when plenty of people had written him off. It was truly a masterstroke from Ferguson to sign the Dutchman on a bargain deal.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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