10) Ravel Morrison
Part of the same class that produced a certain Paul Pogba, Sir Alex overlooked the future United’s most expensive signing and praised Ravel Morrison, claiming that he would be the next big thing from United’s famed youth academy. However, 7 years later, and Morrison currently plies his trade in Mexico playing for Atlas. His inability to make it to the top is not so much about talent, which he has in plenty, but rather about his lifestyle. Senior figures like Sam Allardyce complained about Morrison’s careless attitude during his time at West Ham. In last 7 years, Morrison has appeared for as many as 7 clubs.
A world-record signing at the time, Denilson was snapped up by Real Betis for 21.5 million Euros after some wonderful performances for Sao Paulo. While the likes of Figo and Ronaldo did justice to the heavy transfer fees paid during that period, Denilson failed to repay the faith. He lost all those trickery which convinced the Spanish club in the first place. Denilson did play more than 150 games for Betis; however, failed to show the same form. As a result, he spent brief time at various clubs before eventually retiring in 2010, racking up just 300 appearances in a 16-year long career.
8) Giovanni Dos Santos
The Mexican was supposed to be the next big thing in world football back in ’07. Indeed, he did perform admirably that season, amassing 37 appearances and looked the most likely to take over reins from Ronaldinho. However, he was soon sold by Pep Guardiola, who instead preferred to build his team around Messi. A decade later, and the decision seems a correct one. Dos Santos, though has recently regained some of his best form for LA Galaxy, never really set the world alight. Instead, he had his attitude questioned by the revered Harry Redknapp during his time at Spurs.
7) Micah Richards
English fans were not too worried when the talismanic Gary Neville showed signs of ageing post the World Cup of ’06. Instead, some fans dearly wanted him replaced by Micah Richards, who at the time, became the youngest to dawn the three lions shirt. A product of Manchester City’s youth academy, Richards was supposed to be the statement for the youngsters at Etihad. However, the Englishman soon found himself on the fringes after Pablo Zabaleta came in. Richards failed to get in the team and was shipped out to Fiorentina. Currently, he plays in the championship with Aston Villa.
6) David Bentley
The ‘new David Beckham’ of English football, David Bentley, had an impressive start to his professional career, scoring exquisite goals for Blackburn. His form convinced Spurs to pay 15 million for his services. In the beginning, all seemed well as Bentley soon settled in. However, before Bentley could show why he was nicknamed the new David Beckham, his form faded drastically. Indeed, his stay at Spurs was cut short by several loan moves to Rostov and Birmingham before eventually returning to Blackburn. The midfielder retired at just 29, claiming he had fallen out of love with the game.
5) Andres D’Alessandro
Like Bentley, D’Alessandro was supposedly the next Diego Maradona. The Argentine great has had many players being lined up over the years with hopes of emulating the star man; however, barring Messi none has come even close. D’ Alessandro moved to Wolfsburg in 2003, with high hopes of building on his fine reputation. Nevertheless, in 3 seasons, the Argentine could only assist 10 goals. A loan move to Portsmouth further worsened his career path. He spent nearly a decade at Internacional, the only club where he seemed to settle in at and currently plies his trade playing for River Plate.
Kleberson’s transfer was a rare miss from the legendary Sir Alex. To be fair though, Kleberson had showed all the signs of being a class player, especially running the show for Brazil in the World Cup ’02. However, the Brazilian found life in England increasingly difficult. From being a potential long-term replacement for the hard-man Roy Keane, Kleberson was sold to Besiktas. After a brief time in Turkey, Kleberson returned to his homeland, never really hitting the heights.
3) Bojan Krkic
The Spaniard had a blossoming start to his Barcelona career, becoming their youngest ever goalscorer in the league in Oct’07. A year later, he became the first player to be born in the 90s decade to score in the Champions league. Writing was on the wall for Bojan to become a top player; however, he soon fell out of favour under Guardiola. Some loan moves to Roma, Milan and Ajax followed before Bojan made a surprise move to Stoke. At the Britannia, Bojan had flashes of brilliance, nevertheless, spent last season on loan at Mainz in Germany. Now 27, Bojan is currently at Alaves.
The next Pele, Robinho has had a career full of ups and downs. From being a young Galactico at Real Madrid, to making a multi million dollar move to Manchester City in 2008, Robinho was supposed to be the flagbearer of City’s arrival on the big stage. However, a string of inconsistent performances hit his confidence as he failed to regain his best form at the Etihad. He joined Milan, where he did win the Serie A title, however, could not reach the heights. This week, his move to Sivasspor in Turkey was confirmed though, his contract could be cancelled as he is convicted of Rape by an Italian court in ’07.
There is little doubt that the USA have been keen on making an impact in football or soccer shall we say for years. One thing each nation needs to do so is a star man. Egypt have Salah, Nigeria have Mikel and Moses, Ivory Coast had Drogba and Toure. The US thought they too had their guy, when a young Freddy Adu was drafted in the MLS at the tender age of 14. Adu did justice and performed well, which earned him trails for Manchester United. However, he failed to convince the scouts. He then moved to Real Salt Lake. Since his move, he has been a passenger. He has had brief spells in France, Germany, Turkey and Brazil and at 28, is currently out of contract.