With Morgan Schneiderlin about to become Everton’s ninth permanent signing from Manchester United in the Premier League era, we look at where they stand on a list of clubs/Bryan Robson to have signed Manchester United rejects…
5) Hull City (six permanent transfers)
There’s been another nine loans from Manchester United to Hull – including two for persistent Robbie Brady – but the Irishman remains the most expensive of Hull’s imports from along the M62 at around £2m. Astonishingly, United eked £1m from the Tigers last summer for Will Keane, while Corry Evans (now at Blackburn), Cameron Stewart (released by Ipswich at August), James Chester (now at Aston Villa) and Joe Dudgeon (no idea) all arrived for relative peanuts in 2011, when Nigel Pearson showed a distinct lack of imagination in his transfer dealings. That he is a former colleague and close friend of Bryan Robson may or may not have been a factor in that distinct lack of imagination.
4) Middlesbrough (seven permanent transfers)
You can thank Bryan Robson for this. Not only did he take himself off to Middlesbrough in 1994 as player-manager, but he grabbed Clayton Blackmore and Gary Walsh for company in the pub experience and then went back for Gary Pallister. Which is nice. Even after Robson’s departure in 2001, Boro offered £3.5m for Jonathan Greening and Mark Wilson (three PL appearances for United) and last summer made it six with a free transfer move for Victor Valdes.
3) West Brom (seven permanent transfers)
Just ‘ahead’ of Middlesbrough by virtue of a very successful loan spell for Kieran Richardson are the Baggies, with Tony Pulis boosting the ex-Red numbers by paying £6m for Jonny Evans and also taking Darren Fletcher and Anders Lindegaard on free transfers. It’s almost 15 years since Sir Alex Ferguson referred to Ronnie Wallwork’s move to West Brom as the “best Bosman of the summer” (to which we say the words ‘Jay-Jay’ and ‘Okocha’); he didn’t say the same about Mike Phelan in 1994. Of course, the Baggies would not be on this list were it not for Bryan Robson, who kindly gave his old club actual cash money for Paul McShane as well as goalkeeper Luke Steele.
2) Everton (eight permanent transfers)
Ah, the reason for this list. Everton are about to make it nine with a move for Morgan Schneiderlin, whose fee will usurp the £5m paid for Andrey Kanchelskis in 1995; you will be unsurprised to learn that one Bryan Robson had desperately tried to add him to Middlesbrough’s ranks. Other players making the journey for a fee were the crocked Jesper Blomqvist – basically a favour from Walter Smith to his old mate Sir Alex Ferguson – Phil Neville (worth every penny), Tim Howard (worth almost every penny) and Darron Gibson (worth none of the pennies). Everton have also provided new homes for the crocked Louis Saha (on a ‘pay-as-you-play’ deal), the phenomenal Tom Cleverley and the forgettable John O’Kane.
1) Sunderland (ten permanent transfers)
This is what happens when you employ Roy Keane (Kieran Richardson, Phil Bardsley, Liam Miller), Steve Bruce (John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Fraizer Campbell) and David Moyes (Paddy McNair, Donald Love) as managers. The outliers are goalkeeper Tony Coton from 1996 and Mark Lynch from 2004. In total, Sunderland have lobbed over £20m in Manchester United’s direction in the Premier League years, as well as offering temporary homes to Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Jonny Evans (twice).