Ever wondered where some of your favourite or even most disliked Manchester United players ended up?
It’s a topic than can be endlessly discussed amongst Football fans. “Oh remember Regi Blinker? What ever happened to him?”. “I wonder what Mustapha Hadji is doing these days“. “I miss seeing Sun Jihai play“.
We’ve all grown up with countless footballers and have some very fond memories of particular players. Unfortunately there are no further appearances from Blinker, Hadji, and Jihai in this article. Though it’s a nice thought to think that they might be playing in a 5-a-side team together somewhere.
Anyway, this focuses on former Manchester United players, and what they got up to after they left the Red Devils. We’ll start off with one that I’m sure everyone remembers. He was so good they named him twice……
Eric Djemba-Djemba – 2003-2005
Djemba-Djemba’s United career was short lived despite the initial excitement at his signing. He was seen as a potential successor to Roy Keane and he marked his debut with a heavy tackle on Sol Campbell which Arsene Wenger marked as “obscene”. Eric made only 20 appearances in the league for United before moving onto spells at Aston Villa and Burnley. He then played for Qatar SC before spells in Denmark at Odense, Israel at Hapeol Tel-Aviv and now finds himself at Serbian side Partizan Belgrade. Now 32 it is safe to say he never really lived up to be a replacement for Roy Keane.
Kleberson – 2003-2005
Kleberson arrived in the same summer as ‘Double D’ and also failed to impress. He arrived with a hefty transfer fee on his shoulders. After impressing at the 2002 World Cup, United paid Atlético Paranaense £6.5 million for his services. Just like Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson only made 20 league appearances in his two years, and in 2005 was sold to Besiktas. After two years in Turkey, Kleberosn returned to Brazil with Flamengo. There were complications with Besiktas though, as he had terminated his own contract after they failed to pay him on time. Kleberson had to fork out a few million to Besiktas because he breached his contract. He settled down for a bit at Flamengo and regained his place in the national squad. He had a loan spell back at his first club and then transferred to Bahia. He is currently out on loan though in USA at Philadelphia Union.
Dong Fangzhuo – 2004-2008
Dong joined United in 2004 for a potential fee of £3.5 million becoming the clubs first East Asian player. The majority of his time was spent at Royal Antwerp in Belgium in order to gain a work permit, where he actually had a decent goalscoring record. He scored 34 goals in 71 games there. Unfortunately Dong Fangzhuo failed to play many games for United and only started the one, against Chelsea. His move was seen by some as a marketing ploy to help promote the club in China. He eventually moved back to China with Dalian, and then played for Legia Warsaw, Portimonense (Portugal), Mika (Armenia), and is now playing in the second tier of Chinese Football for Hunan Billows.
Manucho – 2008-2009
Another just to make the solitary league appearance for Manchester United. Mateus Alberto Contreiras Gonçalves, also known as Manucho had impressed in his homeland of Angola at Atlético Petróleos de Luanda. He impressed Sir Alex during a three-week trial and signed a three-year contract. Manucho was initially loaned out to Panathinaikos and scored 4 in 10 to help them qualify for the Champions League. In January of the 2008-2009 season he joined Premier League side Hull City on loan. He scored his first Premier League goal against Fulham which secured a 1-0 victory for Hull. He only scored one other goal in 13 appearances though and at the end of that season was released by Manchester United. He then joined Real Valldolid, and has been in and out of the side whilst also spending time on loan in Turkey. Firstly at Bucaspor and then Manisaspor. He has scored 14 goals in 57 league appearances for Real Valladolid to date and 22 in 47 for Angola.
Massimo Taibi – 1999-2000
In the period when United looked to replace Peter Schmeichel, Massimo Taibi was one of many who was given the opportunity to cement his place as the side’s number one. He joined for £4.5 million but unfortunately his spell was an ill-fated one full of errors. Most famously when he allowed a shot from Matt Le Tissier to go through his legs despite having his hands on the ball. He only made 4 appearances for the side before being allowed to return to Italy. He redeemed himself somewhat in his homeland and actually scored a goal during his time at Reggina. He then played in 131 games for Atlanta, 49 for Torino, and 47 for Ascoli before hanging up his gloves in 2009.