MU is not in the habit of using African players, with striker Ighalo is a rare case. It should be noted that players from the black continent who join the Red Devils are often not very successful.
Striker Odion Ighalo became the first Nigerian player to wear a MU shirt with a six-month loan contract from Shanghai Shenhua. Before that, “Red Devil” had 6 other names from Africa throughout history.
Quinton Fortune (1999-2006)
Unlike Ighalo, Quinton Fortune never played at any club in Africa nor in his hometown of South Africa. The 1977 former midfielder started his career in Spain with Mallorca and Atletico Madrid, before moving to MU in 1999 for £ 1.5 million.
At MU, he made 76 appearances, scored 5 goals and won 1 Premier League title and 1 FA Cup, and became the longest African player in the MU shirt so far. Leaving in 2006, Quinton Fortune drifted through a few famous clubs before retiring in 2010.
Eric Bailly (2016-present)
Brought in under coach Jose Mourinho, Eric Bailly is one of the most expensive African players with a £ 30 million transfer. The Ivory Coast midfielder played an important role in the Europa League and League Cup championships of MU in the first season.
However, the constant injuries made Bailly unable to make a breakthrough in his career. He has not played for a minute this season due to still being treated for a terrible knee injury.
Eric Djemba-Djemba (2003-2005)
MU spent 3.5 million pounds for Nantes in 2003 to bring Eric Djemba-Djemba in the hope that the Cameroonian player will replace Roy Keane. However, what this midfielder left is very disappointing. 39 Eric Djemba-Djemba’s appearances have mostly come in cup tournaments or friendly matches. He left Manchester just two years later.
Mame Biram Diouf (2009-2012)
Mame Biram Diouf started as a dream at MU with a goal in his debut match with Burnley. Sir Alex Ferguson then wanted to make the Senegalese player a super substitute, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But unexpectedly, that goal was the only … goal of Diouf during his time at MU. The presence of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and young talent Daniel Welbeck made Diouf overshadowed.
Wilfried Zaha (2013-2015)
Wilfried Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last contract before leaving the head coach by bringing back from Crystal Palace for £ 15 million. Despite a contract for 5 and a half years, the Ivory Coast player has only made 2 appearances in the Premier League after the debut of new boss David Moyes in the British Super Cup.
Not many clubs made the transfer of players from Angola, so MU’s decision to bring in the unknown striker Manucho in 2007 caught the attention of NHM. The fans’ excitement increased after he had 4 goals in CAN 2008. However, he was troubled by a work permit, forcing MU to lend Panathinaikos.
In the end, Manucho only played once for MU before being loaned again and then sold. This year 36 years old, he is playing in the final days of his career when he joined the Spanish 3rd class team UE Cornella.