What Happened To Manchester United’s Weirdest Ever Signing Six Years On?
Defender Andy Kellett became a bizarre deadline day addition to Manchester United's squad six years ago - a move so unbelievable that even the player thought it was a wind-up.
Angel Di Maria, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian, Radamel Falcao - it's safe to say Louis van Gaal oversaw a few transfer flops during his two-year reign at Old Trafford. But the strangest was a slightly lower-profile player, who caused total Twitter bafflement as soon as his loan move was announced.
Who exactly was Kellett, who'd started precisely one game for his club, Bolton, and why was a world-famous football club snapping him up? Even Sky Sports, reporting live at the time, doubted their sources and at first suggested the 21-year-old was going to Sheffield United.
Breaking it to the left-back was also a challenge. "Sit down Andy, we've got some good news and some bad news," said Bolton coach Garry Parker, who is clearly a fan of The Banter.
The bad news: Kellett wouldn't be returning to Plymouth, where he'd finished an impressive 15-game loan spell. The good news: "You're going to Manchester United."
The club had been linked to various players before deadline day, including Mats Hummels, so the response from United fans was also disbelief - with some joker changing the player's name to Andy 'Cantona' Kellett on Wikipedia. Others sarcastically praised Ed Woodward - so far, yet so similar.
Truthfully nobody, least of all Van Gaal, saw Kellett as an immediate defensive option. He was reportedly brought in to fill a gap in the under-21 side - the fairytale story being the youngster proving a hero there and opening up a path to first-team glory.
It did not work out that way. After 10 games for the U21s, Kellett returned to Bolton in the summer. His career after that took him to Wigan, Chesterfield, then Notts County in 2018 - before he was released after a season.
More Like ThisMore Like This
"Going to United from Plymouth, it was like two different worlds," he once said of his incredible loan move. "We were in League Two at Plymouth - and it was train on the ground, train on a park... And you go to United and they bring in your food for you and everything like that."
A far cry from Old Trafford's catering, Kellett signed a short-term deal with National League strugglers Fylde in December 2019. He was on the bench when Fylde played Sheffield United in the FA Cup in January 2020 - sitting by the Bramall Lane touchline, just like Oli McBurnie, who scored against Kellett's old club Manchester United earlier last season.
The now 27-year-old briefly turned out for Alfreton Town and currently plays for National League North side Guiseley.
It may be a fall since his brief moment in the spotlight, but Kellett did what any player would by accepting his amazing United chance. His career has also boasted some high spots: winning League One with Wigan in 2016 and being nominated for Plymouth's 'Team of the Decade' last year.
Perhaps it was this sublime Argyle wondergoal that persuaded United to take a chance on him?
It's as likely an explanation as any for his arrival six years ago, which remains the strangest deadline day move the Red Devils have ever made. Though, given the unlikely nature of any deadline-day transfer today, United fans might be thrilled by a similar move in 2021. Announce Kellett!
Featured image credit: PA Images
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read