Name: Edwin van der Sar
Signed: May 2005 from Fulham (£2 million)
Then: Champions League winning keeper Edwin van der Sar shocked many when he moved to Manchester United in 2005. The Fulham keeper was a dependable option for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men but, at the same time, wasn’t exactly a spring chicken. United fans saw van der Sar as a short-term option to a long-term problem. However, it didn’t take long for the Dutchman to prove his doubters wrong. During his first season, his performances were the stand-out in an other wise disappointing campaign. Just a year later, his club were back as Premier League champions.
Now: Alex Ferguson regards van der Sar as the best keeper to play for Manchester United since Peter Schmeichel. Whether or not he saw the Netherlands international as a long-term solution is debatable. However, one thing’s for sure, Edwin certainly was the real deal. He stayed at United for six seasons, picking up four Premier League titles and a Champions League title in the process. Since retiring, he has done several bits of media work and some coaching. He will be remembered as one of the greatest keepers of all time.