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Nine years on, what happened to Man United's weirdest ever January window signing?

Nine years on, what happened to Man United's weirdest ever January window signing?

Introducing Andy Kellett, who signed for Manchester United nine years ago.

Andy Kellett became a bizarre deadline day addition to Manchester United's squad eight years ago - a move so unbelievable that the 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 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 then-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 Man United fans was also disbelief - with some joker changing the player's name to Andy 'Cantona' Kellett on Wikipedia.

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.

"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."

Andy Kellett in action for Manchester United's U23s. Image: Getty
Andy Kellett in action for Manchester United's U23s. Image: Getty

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 Man United.

The now 30-year-old briefly turned out for Alfreton Town as well as Guiseley and currently plays for Bury.

It may be a fall since his brief moment in the spotlight, but Kellett did what any player would by accepting his amazing Man 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' in 2020.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Transfers, Louis Van Gaal