The 7 best ever Manchester United signings from the January transfer windows

Manchester United have signed some brilliant players during the January transfer window over the years - here are seven of the best.

Manchester United have used the January transfer window well over the years, with the club signing 21 players since its introduction in the 2002-03 season.

Several managers have come and gone since this time with all of them trying to make their own stamp on the squad.

Sir Alex Ferguson oversaw the most winter windows with 11, while David Moyes had one, Louis van Gaal two, Jose Mourinho the same as the Dutchman and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer three.

January is a perfect time to reshuffle the team, especially if the current crop of players aren’t hitting the targets the manager is aiming for.

Some have managed to join United mid-season and go on to create a legacy with the club, while others signed and led to minimal appearances, later leaving the Red Devils.

Here, we take a look at the seven best January transfer window signings for United since it began.

Henrik Larsson at Utd in 2007 Credit: Getty

Henrik Larsson

Swedish football legend Henrik Larsson joined the Red Devils on loan from Helsingborg in January 2007 until 12 March.

He made 13 appearances in his short spell with the club, netting three times and helping Ferguson’s side lift the Premier League title that year.

His influence on the team was significant, with Ferguson admitting he would’ve liked to have kept the striker past his initial loan spell.

Louis Saha at Man Utd in 2007 Credit: Getty

Louis Saha

Another forward signed to add goals to the team was Louis Saha. The Frenchman joined United from Fulham for £12.82m in January 2004 and went on to make 142 appearances in four-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

During that time he scored 42 goals and assisted his team-mates on 20 occasions. Saha also won four major honours with the Red Devils, including the 2008 Champions League.

Paul Scholes at Utd in 2012 Credit: Getty

Paul Scholes

Technically Paul Scholes rejoined the club on a free transfer after coming out of retirement in January 2012, having hung up his boots in May the previous year.

The legendary midfielder was an ideal option for Ferguson with his side suffering injuries in midfield.

Scholes’ return to the club lasted 18-months, following a one-year contract extension at the end of the 2011-12 season. His influence on the team didn’t change, with one of England’s best midfielders helping United lift the 2013 Premier League title.

Juan Mata

Juan Mata was David Moyes’ only January signing during his tenure as the club’s manager, with the Spanish attacking-midfielder joining the club from Chelsea in 2014 for £37.1m.

The 33-year-old is still with the Red Devils, though his playing time in recent seasons has reduced due to other members of the squad being favoured over him.

Mata’s technical ability, especially in a number 10 role, has shown significantly since his arrival, having 51 goals to his name and 47 assists.

The Spaniard has also collated four major trophies in his time with United and was a huge part of the club securing the 2016 FA Cup - netting three goals in four appearances.

Juan Mata of Manchester United Credit: Getty

Patrice Evra

A £5.5m signing from Monaco in 2006, Patrice Evra was a hero amongst the Red Devils faithful and a key player for the club over the seven-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

The left-back, who was known for his comical personality off the pitch, was nothing but serious when on it, solidifying United’s defence and winning 14 major honours in the process.

Evra was one of the Premier League’s best players in that position, being selected three times in the PFA Team of The Year for his performances in the 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.

Nemanja Vidic

He came from Serbia… you know the rest. Nemanja Vidic is one of Ferguson’s best signings, regardless of the time of the season and his almost 27 years as manager.

Vidic was a mountain of a man with a no-nonsense attitude to defending and a brilliant influence on the dressing room and club performances.

The defender was a pivotal part of Ferguson’s team since joining in 2006, later becoming the Red Devils’ captain four years later.

Regarded as one of, if not the best centre-back in Premier League history, the Serbian’s performances at the back saw him add 15 winner medals to his cabinet in 300 appearances.

Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford for the Michael Carrick Testimonial Credit: Getty

Bruno Fernandes

The most recent January signing on this list and one of the most consistent players to pull on a Red Devils shirt, Bruno Fernandes joined the club from Sporting Lisbon in 2020 for £67.7m plus add-ons.

Fernandes, who has been the team’s star man since his arrival, has featured 104 times for United, scoring 45 goals and assisting his teammates on 34 occasions.

His performances for the club are arguably the reason for their top four finishes the last two seasons and he will continue to be an influential figure for his remaining time as a Red Devils player.