·21 September 2022
·21 September 2022
The 13-time champions last raised English football’s top prize in 2012/13 – their final season under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Seemingly with every passing season, the club has sunk further away from those glory days – culminating in the worst Premier League finish in their history in 2021/22.
Hopes are high around the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ that current boss Erik ten Hag can turn the tide at United – and the Dutchman was certainly backed in the transfer market towards the end of the recently-closed summer window.
United splashed out a combined £200.7 million on their three biggest-name signings of the summer, overpaying considerably for each, compared to their market value.
In purchasing Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax, United paid over the odds by a combined total of £105.63m.
The club also forked out £63.59m for Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, some £27.59m more than his market value of £36m.
United have taken a big gamble on the trio – and only time will tell if it pays off.
The Red Devils success rate when overpaying for players hasn’t been great in the past, though.
Per Transfermarkt, the likes of Harry Maguire (£33.3m overpayment), Romelu Lukaku (£31.23m overpayment), Paul Pogba (£31.5m overpayment) and Fred (£24.3m overpayment) have all arrived at Old Trafford for far more than their market value in recent years.
None of those deals appear particularly shrewd in hindsight – and there’s many more of a similar kind.
The scale of United’s rampant overspending during the last decade was highlighted earlier this week when a new study revealed that the club was, in fact, the worst offender in all of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.
The data gurus over at CIES Football Observatory have crunched the numbers to determine which clubs have been the most frequent overspenders over the last ten years and you can check out the results in the images below.
The Red Devils lead the way with an overall overspend of €238m (£208.53m) since 2012.
Juventus (€234m/£205.2m) are just a few million shy of United’s total in second, before a significant gap of some €72m to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, who overspent by €162m (£141.94m).
One of the bigger surprises from the study is the presence of Aston Villa in fourth, ahead of both Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Other Premier League clubs to make the top 20 include Arsenal (7th), Everton (9th), Newcastle (11th), Leicester (12th), Southampton (14th), Liverpool (19th) and West Ham (20th).
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