There is, however, a Savoire-faire of African footballers stretching back at Old Trafford for over two decades, with seven men from the continent headlining for the club since 1999. Here are the list of the players:
Nationality: South Africa
Our first African player, Fortune unified from Atletico Madrid in August 1999, making his Reds debut in a 5-1 win over Newcastle United later that month. Able to be displayed at full-back or in midfield, Fortune was originally used casually by Sir Alex Ferguson but became a valuable squad member during his seven-year spell at Old Trafford, helping the Reds to league titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003. Memorable individual moments included a brace against South Melbourne in the 2000 Club World Championship, and two goals in a 6-0 home hammering of Bradford City. Quinton, who featured for his country at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, left United in 2006 but is now back at the club, as assistant coach for the Under-23s.
Angola international Manucho plunk three goals at the 2012 tournament to knot for the award, four years after his final appearance for the Reds.Unfortunately, the forward had the calamity to be competing for a place with Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov, and his Old Trafford career was restricted to one Premier League and two League Cup appearances, all as a substitute, in the 2008/09 campaign. Manucho was loaned to Hull City later in the season, scoring a late winner against Fulham which proved to be vital in maintaining top-flight status for the Tigers. He is 36 and currently without a club, Manucho has spent much of the last decade in Spain, with Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano.
Djemba-Djemba’s first appearance for the Reds was a trophy-winning one, as we overcame Arsenal on penalties at the Millennium Stadium to clinch the Community Shield. The midfielder, who played 22 times in his debut season, scored a memorable extra-time winner against Leeds in the League Cup but couldn’t establish himself as first choice at Old Trafford, amid competition from Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher and Brazilian World Cup winner Kleberson. After a handful of appearances in 2004/05, Djemba-Djemba was sold to Aston Villa in January 2005. Now 38, Eric is actually still playing, in the Swiss fifth division, continuing a nomadic career which has also taken in spells in Qatar, Denmark, Israel, Serbia, Scotland, India, Indonesia and France.
4)MAME BRIAM DIOUF
Diouf spent part of his early career in Norway, hitting 45 goals in 86 games for Molde before being snapped up by United in 2009. The Senegalese had to wait six months to make his Reds debut, against Birmingham City, but made up for lost time by netting against Burnley at Old Trafford the following week. Ultimately, that would prove to be his only United strike, with Diouf making a further seven appearances before being sold to Hannover. Diouf, who made two appearances for his country at the 2018 World Cup, has spent the last six seasons with Stoke City, who are currently in the Championship.
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Current centre-back Bailly came to prominence in 2015 when, as an initially uncapped member of the Ivory Coast squad, he helped his country to only their second Africa Cup of Nations title. The following year, United signed him from Villarreal, and he was a key member of the side that won the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the club’s history, despite missing the Stockholm victory over Ajax after picking up a red card in the semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo. Eric scored his first United goal in August 2017, against Swansea City, and made 13 appearances as the Reds finished second in the Premier League that season. Although he has struggled with injury over the past 18 months, Bailly is once again fit to feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as Manchester United manager, Zaha completed his move to United in January 2013. He spent the rest of the 2012/13 season at Crystal Palace, helping the Eagles to promotion after eight years in the second tier. Tipped as one of the future great hopes of English football, prior to his decision to represent the Ivory Coast, Zaha started for the Reds in our 2-0 Community Shield triumph over Wigan Athletic at Wembley. That, however, would prove to be one of only four appearances for United, with the winger loaned out to Cardiff City for the second half of the 2013/14 campaign. The following season, Zaha moved back to Selhurst Park, originally on loan, before the move was made permanent, where he has since established himself as one of the south London club’s greatest players.
He's living something that every United fan dreams of – representing his boyhood club – and you can see that with every calorie he burns on the pitch. With every smile he produces when celebrating a goal (and that's any goal, not just the ones he scores himself).Odion began his career in Nigeria with Prime and Julius Berger FC (which was renamed Bridge FC in 2010). He then moved to Norway, where he played for Lyn, based in Oslo. In 2010, he signed for Serie A club Udinese, though he spent much of his time with the Italian club out on loan, at Granada (Spain), Cesena (Italy) and Watford. The Hornets then signed him on a permanent deal in 2014. After leaving Vicarage Road, he moved to China to play for Changchun Yatai and later Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the club he has joined United from.It was Ighalo’s opener in the quarter-final clash at Norwich last month which set United on our way to reaching the last four. Since then, the Reds have been in free-flowing goalscoring form and Ighalo says he is both enjoying seeing his fellow forwards in such fine fettle and is training hard to ensure he is ready whenever he may be needed to support them in attack.
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