Gary Neville has revealed that he has recommended only two signings to Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo and Louis Saha. Regarded as one of the greatest French forwards in his generation, Saha was making his name at Fulham. He was signed by manager Sir Alex Ferguson for around £ 11 million.
This initially turned out to be a very good investment from the club, as Saha was able to come up with some crucial goals. He was seen as the eventual replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who remains as one of the greatest forwards Manchester United have seen in the last two decades.
Cristiano Ronaldo was also signed by the club around the same time for £ 12 million from Sporting Lisbon. This investment proved to be highly successful for United, as they later sold the winger for a world record fee of £ 80 million in 2009. Ronaldo was brought in as a highly talented youngster and he was transformed into the world’s best player by Ferguson. However, he was unable to repeat the trick with Saha, as the French forward was extremely unlucky with regard to injuries. Even though he won titles at United, his time with the club would rarely be remembered by many.
“After the match [against Sporting] I remember sending a text to my brother, saying ‘we need to sign him [Ronaldo]’. Obviously players should never be involved in signings, but he certainly made everyone sit up and take notice. The only other opposition player I’ve felt like that about was Louis Saha. I remember playing against I’m as a centre-back when he was at Fulham and he destroyed me three seasons on the bounce. I was devastated when I had to play against him and I thought ‘we’ve got to sign him’,” said Neville about the signing of Saha.