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The Striker So Bad Manchester United Got A Refund

The Striker So Bad Manchester United Got A Refund

Manchester United have had some good players down the years but also some very bad and in Dong Fangzhuo they signed one so bad they got a refund.

There would be plenty of United fans who would vote Alexis Sanchez as their worst signing ever but despite his troubles the Chilean, currently on loan at Inter, wouldn't be their worst player ever.

That award could go to Dong, who signed from Chinese side Dalian Shide in January 2004 for an initial £500,000, rising up to £2.5 million. The striker lasted four years at Old Trafford, two on loan at Royal Antwerp, only playing three times.

According to the Athletic the club didn't lose any money on him though, agreeing with Dalian that they'd be owed a refund if they weren't happy with their signing, a clause the Chinese club signed off on, believing the player would be a success.

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Dong comes on as a substitute for Alan Smith. Image: PA Images
Dong comes on as a substitute for Alan Smith. Image: PA Images

Dong is probably most famous during his time at United for being part of a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge, by Chelsea for the champions.

United had already won the Premier League title in May 2007 and their hosts on the evening were due to give them the guard of honour, as is the tradition, but rather than honouring the players who had delivered the title it was a very weakened United side.

Keiran Lee, Chris Eagles, Kieran Richardson and Tomasz Kuszczak and Dong were all part of the starting XI on the day.

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Speaking to the Athletic the striker, who retired in 2014, refused the idea he had been a flop at United, saying, "I'm not frustrated. Over the years, many skilful players have left the club. It's a rare opportunity for any player to play for United, so I'm very proud."

But his time in England, and success with Antwerp, didn't set him up to return to China and be successful, failing to score on his return to Dalian before spells at Poland, Portugal and Armenia.

Dong playing in the Champions League. Image: PA Images
Dong playing in the Champions League. Image: PA Images
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So Dong's refund won't stop him being one of the worst players ever signed at Old Trafford but it certainly means he isn't their worst signing.

Until someone pays back Alexis Sanchez's wages that 'honour' will go to him.

Topics: Football News, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Transfer stories, Transfer rumours, Premier League, Chinese Super League, Transfer news, China

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.