Home Sports Man Utd,’s first signing after Sir Alex Ferguson era opens up on ‘nightmare’ debut season

Man Utd,’s first signing after Sir Alex Ferguson era opens up on ‘nightmare’ debut season

by Nike
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Manchester United’s first signing of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era has described his debut season at the club as a ‘nightmare’.

Ferguson retired from his role at the end of the 2012/13 season, not long after having reportedly failed to pull off an audacious double transfer swoop for Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

United had similar problems in attracting players after the appointment of David Moyes, failing to pay the required fee to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.

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Moyes’ top target in midfield, meanwhile, was Cesc Fabregas. The Athletic claimed that the Spaniard told Moyes he would request a transfer to Old Trafford if he wasn’t named in Barcelona’s starting XI for their first game of the 2013/14 season.

Unfortunately for United, he was picked, and provided two assists in a 7-0 win over Levante.

United began to get desperate for reinforcements, and a proposed double deal to sign Moyes’ former Everton stars Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini for £36 million was swiftly rejected.

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The Scot eventually had to settle for signing just Fellaini, who moved to Old Trafford for £27.5 million on deadline day in August – even though he had a lower buyout fee earlier in the window.

The Belgian would eventually find his best form under Louis van Gaal as a goalscoring attacking midfielder, but struggled during his first campaign at the club.

Moyes was sacked in April with United in seventh place, and they eventually missed out on European football altogether.

Now, speaking to the MU Podcast, Fellaini opened up on the challenges of his first campaign at Old Trafford.

He said: “The first year at Manchester United was very difficult for me, because I was the first signing after the era of Ferguson and it was not easy.

“I’m honest, and I always said that the first year was very difficult for me, but for the team too. We had a bad season. It was a nightmare one for a few months.

“It was not easy at all and, when you are in this situation, mentally as well it’s not good, it’s not easy.

“I played five years for Everton, I was doing well, respect from everybody. Then you go to a big club and mentally it’s difficult, as your football is not the same.

“You know, for me, it was the worst [season] in my career, my first year in Manchester. After that, it was much, much better.

“I would never criticise David Moyes because he gave me my chance in England. I played, under him, nearly every game [at Everton, after signing from Standard Liege in 2008].”

Fellaini left United in 2019 to join Chinese Super League side Shandoing Taishan, where he spent the final five years of his career before retiring from professional football at the age of 36 in February.

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