Countless footballers and fans dream of turning out in the famous red shirt on the turf of Old Trafford. And they should do so.
Manchester United fans are known to show immense love and respect towards the players that ply their trades for United. Plus, wages are never a problem when it comes to playing for the most famous and supported club in the whole world.
Old Trafford is always a celebrated place on weekends and Champions League nights. It is hard to believe that United supporters didn’t dwindle in number even after the club has stooped low since Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day.
Playing for the Red Devils does give footballers a chance to have a fairytale career etched in football folklore.
With its illustrious history, the place has seen any great footballers grace the Theatre of Dreams. But not everyone has left a legacy down the Sir Alex Ferguson Way. There have been players who could never fulfil their potentials and desires while playing the famous red shirt.
Although United has a stellar reputation for developing world-class players, but, the club also has its fair share of wasted talent. Let’s have a look at the top 10 of these unfortunate individuals.
#10: Massimo Taibi
Taibi was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson on his brother and chief scout Martin Ferguson’s recommendation. Peter Schmeichel had left for Sporting Lisbon and Taibi was brought in to fill the Great Dane’s boots. Although a hard task to fulfil, the Italian did prove worthy of the responsibility in his first two games.
Taibi debuted against Liverpool and announced himself as a man of the match performance in a 3-2 win. Although he did commit a blunder at first, the Italian made up for his mistake by pulling out fine saves after United were reduced to ten men. His home debut was also marked with a man of the match performance against Wimbledon.
But, fate had a nightmare in store for Taibi when he faced Southampton. The Reds were already 2-1 up when Matthew Le Tissier guided a ball at Taibi from 25 yards. While everyone expected a save, the Italian saw the ball slip through his legs and go beyond the goal line.
A furious Sir Alex Ferguson never allowed Taibi to pull on the United jersey again, as his career at Old Trafford ended in merely 22 days.
Considering that Sir Alex gave David De Gea many chances after his debut blunder versus Manchester City, Taibi fell an unlucky prey to the Scottish gaffer’s wrath. Had the Italian been given a chance, who knows? He might have walked into United’s hall of fame with Schmeichel.
#9: Paddy McNair
Louis Van Gaal’s notoriety for playing footballers out of position is well noted in the soccer world. Although he did change Schweinsteiger into a successful defensive midfielder, he made a host of blunders with other players.
Angel Di Maria cited being played out of position as one of the major reasons for his early exit from Old Trafford. Paddy McNair adds to that list as well.
McNair broke through the United youth ranks and was expected to make it big under the Dutch boss. The 21-year-old was a midfielder but filled in at the defence for Van Gaal.
Despite the Irishman’s inexperience, United won all the four matches with him in the starting XI. McNair made only four appearances in his first season.
Mourinho’s arrival signalled a loan for McNair. But, the Irishman was adamant on a permanent move and left for Sunderland with only 24 appearances in two years with United.
The lack of chances and being played out o position saw United missing out on one of their brightest prospects. With the quality McNair possesses, he certainly deserves a better club than Sunderland.