Hojlund tops dismal ranking of John Murtough’s 20 signings as Man Utd football director

Jason Soutar
Man Utd: John Murtough's signings include Casemiro and Jadon Sancho
John Murtough's signings include Casemiro and Jadon Sancho

John Murtough is leaving Manchester United after three years as their football director. He departs after spending around £518million on a steaming pile of mediocrity. Red Devils fans will hope Dan Ashworth does a lot better.

Murtough made 20 signings during his time in the role and we have ranked them following his decision to ‘step aside’ from working under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.


20) Jadon Sancho (£76.5m)
It seems like Manchester United is the wrong club for Sancho – who is clearly a talented boy. He will only play for the Red Devils again if Erik ten Hag leaves or hell freezes over.


19) Sofyan Amrabat (£8.5m loan fee)
Manchester United were screaming out for a new midfielder and got Amrabat on deadline day last summer. He looks miles off the pace and is going to go down as an awful piece of business for an extortionate loan fee.


18) Jack Butland (loan)
Brought in for the rest of the season in January 2023 after Martin Dubravka’s loan ended – more on that shortly. Butland did not make a single appearance for the club. This deal has been made to look worse with the Englishman shining for Rangers this season, making him a surprise contender to go to Euro 2024.


17) Martin Dubravka (£2m loan fee)
When Dubravka joined from Newcastle United, many expected him to feature in the Europa League group stage, but he only played three cup games before having his loan terminated in January. Useful only to cup-tie him for the 2023 Carabao Cup final, forcing Newcastle to play Loris Karius.


16) Tom Heaton (free)
A free transfer in 2021 since when Heaton has done that most coveted of jobs for the bone-idle: third-choice keeper.


15) Altay Bayindir (£4.2m)
Ten Hag paid actual money for this guy and then proceeded to do everything in his power to ensure he never had to use him. Even when Onana was struggling and heading for AFCON, he went to great lengths to avoid trusting the Turk. Very bizarre.


14) Sergio Reguilon (free)
Signed on loan from Spurs when it emerged that Shaw and Malacia were unlikely to be reliable this season. Then Reguilon himself got injured, allowing Diogo Dalot to make a decent case for being United’s most consistent player this season on either side of Ten Hag’s defence. Returned to sender in January before being immediately packed off to Brentford.


13) Antony (£80m)
The spinning Brazilian cost much more than what he is worth and had a very average debut season in England. This season has not been much better. But maybe, just maybe, there are signs of encouragement.


12) Mason Mount (£55.4)
The jury will probably be out on this one for a while. There is a lot of pressure on Mount to succeed as he is someone who has divided opinions during his entire senior career, whether that be for Chelsea or England.

Regardless of your opinion of the man, he is clearly a manager’s dream and will make Manchester United’s midfield a lot more dynamic and energetic when he is fit and available, which has been nowhere near often enough.


11) Tyrell Malacia (£13m)
Malacia is a nice player who was signed for a very respectable fee. He quickly shifted Luke Shaw out of the starting XI before generously giving his spot back to the England international.

We are currently concerned about his whereabouts.


10) Wout Weghorst (£2.6m loan fee)
Weghorst came in to fill a gap until the end of last season and was signed for peanuts. Even still, it was a weird spell for everyone involved.

READ MORE: Sancho flops, Casemiro praised: Ranking all 60 Man Utd signings since Sir Alex retired in 2013


9) Marcel Sabitzer (loan)
And as far as half-season emergency loans go, this was a success. Ten Hag decided against signing Sabitzer on a permanent basis last summer.


8) Raphael Varane (£36m)
Since moving to Manchester, Varane has failed to convince anyone that he is in fact a four-time Champions League winner.

Injuries have not helped and it’s a shame he is made of glass because Varane is probably the Red Devils’ best defender when fully fit.


7) Christian Eriksen (free)
A lot of us fancied Eriksen to be the bargain of the 22/23 campaign and he had a fairly decent debut year. He has fallen out of favour under Ten Hag and the fact he cost zilch benefits him in this ranking.


6) Cristiano Ronaldo (£13.5m)
There’s not a lot to say that has not already been said. £13.5m for the most marketable footballer on the planet isn’t too bad at the end of the day. Even if it ended up turning into the biggest circus in world football.


5) Casemiro (£61.5m)
After spending the whole 2022 summer transfer window chasing Frenkie de Jong, United realised that Casemiro was sitting right there willing to slot straight into their midfield.

The Brazilian gets the benefit of the doubt after a successful debut season but his legs are gone. Like properly gone. He must be sold this summer.


4) Andre Onana (£45.2m)
Upgrading on David de Gea should have been Erik ten Hag’s top priority when he took over. It took him a year to realise.

Onana’s debut season has been a wild one with his Champions League shambles doing him no favours. There should not be any doubt over his ability, though. He has been solid domestically.


3) Jonny Evans (free)
Was expected to take on a similar role as Tom Huddlestone when he joined but has played a lot more than anyone expected. Has hardly been amazing but has hardly been rubbish either. At 36 years of age, he is doing pretty well. His placement says all you need to know about United’s recent transfer dealings.


2) Lisandro Martinez (£50m)
Martinez is a brilliant footballer who has adapted to Premier League life very quickly despite being written off before stepping foot in Old Trafford. The Argentine World Cup winner attracted interest from Arsenal before joining United and it is clear to see why. Just stay fit, FFS.


1) Rasmus Hojlund (£64.7m)
There are big expectations for Hojlund to be a success at Old Trafford, and after his early struggles he has shown he is a vitally important player. United look lost without him already.

It’s a lot of money for a young player and the jury is still out but he is amazingly Murtough’s best buy during his reign as Manchester United’s football director.

READ NEXT: Five reasons Sir Jim Ratcliffe shouldn’t sack Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag

📣 Straight to the comments! Hojlund over Martinez? Tell us who you believe to be Murtough’s best bit of business…