Man Utd's worst XI of 21st century includes Bebe, Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.. but does Van de Beek make flop team?

FOR ALL their success this century, Manchester United have also endured their fair share of flops in the transfer market.

The latest player struggling to make an impact at Old Trafford is Dutch international Donny van de Beek.

He only joined United from Ajax in August 2020 in a £35million deal and got off to a flyer when scoring on his debut against Crystal Palace.

However, the midfielder has struggled since and he ended last term having made just four starts out of the club’s 38 Premier League games and with things having not since improved, has been linked with Barcelona.

But does that disappointing spell earn him a spot in United’s worst XI of the 21st Century?

The United End’s Tom McDermott tells us below as he picks his very own team of Red Devils flops: 

Anders Lindegaard 

Lindegaard spent five seasons at the club, but they were largely forgettable, supporting Edwin van der Sar and David de Gea.

On reflection, Lindegaard wasn’t a bad ‘keeper but lacked the composure and experience to hold down the No1 jersey on a permanent basis.  

Alexander Buttner 

Buttner was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as ‘one of the best young left-backs in Europe’ when he signed in 2012, and was part of the title winning squad in 2013.

After Ferguson’s retirement though, he’s drifted to some of the lesser known teams in the football world. 

Marcos Rojo 

How Rojo survived at United for so long, I’ll never know.

Signed by Louis van Gaal in 2014, the versatile defender spent more time in the treatment room and sidelines than on the pitch.

When he did play, he struggled to cope with the rhythm of the English game.  

Guillermo Varela 

David Moyes’ first transfer as Manchester United manager was the unknown Uruguayan.

Varela was signed after impressing both with his home club, Penarol, and in the South American youth championships.

In hindsight it was probably a step he couldn’t handle. 


In 2010, United spent £7.4m to sign Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, otherwise known as Bebe.

Bebe was recommended to Ferguson by his former assistant Carlos Queiroz, with the Scot later admitting that he hadn’t seen him play.

Given the criticism he received, he did go on to have a reasonable career in Spain.  

Morgan Schneiderlin 

Schneiderlin played over 30 times for United, but I can’t remember one single appearance.

Joined after several impressive years at Southampton it always felt like the club was too big for him.

Struggled from the day he joined to find any form.  


The Brazil World Cup winner just edges out Eric Djemba-Djemba.

Kleberson joined at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo and after some decent early showings completely lost his way.

It was never going to be easy competing with Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt for a starting spot.

Wilfried Zaha 

Zaha was Ferguson’s last signing at the club and immediately loaned back to Palace which meant he never worked under United’s greatest manager.

Moyes was left to pick up the pieces, but Zaha wasn’t the polished attacker he is today.

Memphis Depay 

Right player, wrong time.

Depay has rebuilt his career well but lacked the maturity at United to establish himself properly.

If he had joined under Ferguson’s leadership and given more time, he may well have flourished.   

Angel Di Maria 

Great excitement when he joined but he never really wanted to be there in the first place.

Off-field problems didn’t help, but Di Maria and United were just never meant to be.

Fans let him know how special he was to them when he returned with Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.

Alexis Sanchez 

What a disaster. Similar to Di Maria in that you got the impression that he never really wanted to be at the club.

Left for Inter and won Serie A with them, but his days as a world class forward have not been seen since his time at Arsenal. 

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