Despite the general perception of some, almost every important player on the Manchester United team has been purchased for quite a hefty some, with the current squad of players, including Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Nani, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa, assembled for a total of £364 million.
Quite a few of these players have been with the club for over 5 years, but just in the two summers alone United have signed five players who cost at least £12 million each, not to mention purchasing Dimitar Berbatov in 2009 for £30.7 million and selling him to Fulham for £4 million.
United are considered “groomers” only because their viewed next to Manchester City, who spent the same amount, maybe more, during a much shorter time.
Rio Ferdinand, 2002
United’s second most expensive signing over the last 11 seasons and the most expensive player on the current squad. He was signed for £27 million from Leeds in 2002, although with signing on fees and agents fees it turned into £34 million, making him the most expensive British footballer in history at the time.
Wayne Rooney, 2004
Rooney became the youngest ever teenager in football when Manchester United signed him from Everton for £25.6 million. Rooney has won four league titles and the champions league since arriving, playing in 370 matches and scoring 182 goals for the club in all competitions.
Patrice Evra, 2005
One of the best left backs in the world over the past 6-7 years (on the decline in the last two), Evra was signed from Monaco in 2005 for £5.5 million, since then playing 300 times for Manchester United in all competitions, winning four Premier League titles and winning the Champions League once.
Nemanja Vidic, 2005
One of the best centre backs in the world (often injured) needed some time next to Rio Ferdinand before fully taking over the position as the leader of United’s defense. Vidic cost £7 million at the time to get from Spartak Moscow, playing 248 times for Manchester United.
Michael Carrick, 2006
A highly criticized purchase at the time, Carrick has played 278 times and scored 20 goals for the team in just over six seasons at the club, costing £18.6 million to sign from Tottenham.
A huge talent when he was initially purchased, but has turned into somewhat of a fringe bench player over the last couple of years. Anderson was purchased for just under £20 million, since playing 148 matches for the club in all competitions.
The now quite problematic winger was signed along with Anderson in 2007, coming from Sporting CP for £13.5 million. He has appeared 201 times for United, scoring 38 goals, peaking in the 2010-2011 season (team of the year).
Rafael & Fabio, 2008
While Rafael has become a permanent fixture for Alex Ferguson at right back this season, Fabio is currently being loaned out to QPR. The two arrived at Manchester United in 2008, before their 18th birthday, signed for a total of £5 million from Fluminense before ever playing for the Brazilian club, and had to wait seven months before they could play for Manchester United.
Antonio Valencia, 2009
The first big signing Manchester United made after selling Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ecuadorian winger came from Wigan for £16 million and has since become the team’s best winger and often best performer, when he’s not injured.
Made more news with his life story than his actual ability and performances on the field. The 22 year old Portuguese player has appeared only 7 times for Manchester United since his arrival from Estrela da Amadora for £7.4 million.
Javier Hernandez, 2010
The Mexican striker was signed from Chivas Guadalajara for £6 million, playing a big part during his first season, scoring 20 goals in all competitions. The next year was a little less successful, scoring 12 and this season is looking like someone who has fallen way back in the rotation, making cameo appearances in injury time.
Anders Lindegaard, 2010
The Danish goalkeeper was signed to possibly replace Edwin van Der Sar in due time, costing £3.5 million to get from Aalesund, playing 17 times for the club since his arrival.
Chris Smalling, 2010
The 22 year old centre back was signed from Fulham in 2010 for £10 million, since then playing 63 times for the senior club, playing a part in the 2011 title winning campaign.
David de Gea, 2011
The heir for Edwin van Der Sar and in possibly Iker Casillas in Spain, but de Gea hasn’t been too consistent with his performances over the last year and a bit, since being signed from Atletico Madrid for £17 million, a record for a goalkeeper in the Premier League.
Phil Jones, 2011
A multi-purpose and position player, Phil Jones is still months away from celebrating his 21st birthday. He was signed from Blackburn for £17 million, appearing 41 times for United in all competitions last season.
Ashley Young, 2011
The Aston Villa winger arrived at Manchester United for £17 million, scoring 8 goals in 32 matches on his debut season, getting more attention for his diving than his goals.
Alexander Buttner, 2012
A player that might inherit Patrice Evra’s spot on the left wing of the defense. The 23 year old Dutch defender was purchased from Vitesse for £3.9 million.
Shinji Kagawa, 2012
The Japanese midfielder was United’s first major signing of the summer, costing £12 million to purchase from Dortmund, who made a huge profit on the 23 year old.
Angelo Henriquez, 2012
Chilean wonderkid that was purchased from Universidad de Chile for £4 million.So far makes appearances for the U-21 side.
Nick Powell, 2012
Young talent purchased from Crewe for £6 million. Already made two appearances for the club, even scoring one Premier League goal.
Robin van Persie, 2012
After a long tenure at Arsenal and winning every possible individual award last season, RVP was the next to bail on the Wenger ship, purchased for £24 million by Alex Ferguson, already seeing 7 goals in 9 matches from the Dutch striker.