Manchester United has had some phenomenal talents and has produced some of the best football players in the world. The club has been a great platform for young promising talents. From legendary players like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and many more, old Trafford has witnessed some world-class players.
Let’s take a look at 3 Former Manchester United players who are excelling with other clubs
Gerard Piqué is a Spanish professional footballer who currently plays as a center-back for La Liga club Barcelona. Piqué, regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, began his career as a defensive midfielder in FC Barcelona’s youth teams, but before signing his first professional contract with the club, he decided to join Manchester United in 2004.
Piqué made his Manchester United debut as a center-back in a 3–0 League Cup victory over Crewe Alexandra in October 2004. He began his career primarily in the reserves, with a loan spell with Real Zaragoza. He began to make a number of cup starts, as well as a few league starts. His performances, particularly in the reserve team, earned him a new contract in February 2005, which he signed until the summer of 2009. Despite his immense talent, Pique only appeared 12 times for Manchester United in the Premier League.
Piqué signed a four-year contract with Barcelona on May 27, 2008, with a €5 million buy-out clause. On November 26, 2008, Piqué scored his first goal for Barcelona as the club won 5-2 in the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League group stage win over Sporting CP. On 13 May 2009, he won his first trophy as a Barcelona player, assisting his club to a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey Final. Piqué faced his former club Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League Final, in which Barcelona won 2–0 in Rome, completing a historic treble and becoming the first Spanish club to do so.
Piqué started for Barcelona in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final, in which the club won 3–1 over Juventus at Berlin’s Olympiastadion to win its fifth European Cup/Champions League title. Barcelona became the first club in history to win the domestic league, domestic cup, and European Cup all twice. On 20 October 2020, Piqué signed a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 20 June 2024, with a €500 million buy-out clause. Throughout his career, he has been a steadfast pillar in their defence. His height, combined with his ability on the ball, has made him a nightmare for most opposing strikers.
Memphis was signed by Manchester United on June 12 for a reported fee of £25 million on a four-year contract with the option to extend for another year. Memphis, 27, stayed at United for only 18 months after joining from PSV Eindhoven. Depay was rarely used by the Portuguese tactician, and when he did appear on the field, the Netherlands international was not always able to capitalise on his opportunities. Memphis made his debut on July 17 in a preseason friendly against Club América in Seattle. Four days later, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3–1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Early indications were optimistic, with Depay excelling in Europe and scoring some early Premier League goals. But things quickly turned sour as Depay struggled to find form as he struggled to adjust to the pace of English football and his off-field activities became a source of concern. Memphis signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with French club Lyon on January 20, 2017, tying him to the club until the summer of 2021. On January 28, he made his Lyon debut in a 2–1 league loss to Lille.
In 139 games for Lyon, he scored 63 goals, which earned him a free contract with Barcelona. He joined Barca on 19 June 2021 on a two-year contract. Memphis made his Barcelona debut in a 4–2 league triumph over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on 15th August 2021. He scored his first goal for the club six days later, in his second encounter, when he equalised against Athletic Bilbao in a 1–1 draw. His move to Barcelona has been a dream for him and he has made an immediate impact.
The Dutch footballer has excelled in his performances for both his country and his current club, FC Barcelona. Until now, the striker’s 2021 season has been nothing short of spectacular. The forward is demonstrating his tremendous class by scoring goals and assisting others. The forward was signed by Barcelona FC and the 27-year-old has already proven himself at the highest level.
Foster made his professional debut with Stoke City in 2001. He never played for them, instead spending time on loan with Bristol City, Tiverton Town, Stafford Rangers, Kidderminster Harriers, and Wrexham. He joined Manchester United on a permanent basis in July 2005, but he struggled to break into the first team again, and from August 2005 to the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, he spent two seasons on loan at Watford.
Foster looked impressive for the Londoners. Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to recall him as a result, and many saw him as a long-term replacement in Manchester United. He missed most of the 2007/08 season due to surgery, but he was called up for an away match against Derby and played a key role in United’s victory. Many believed he was the guy to take up after his performances in the League Cup in 2009, notably at Wembley. Being the first choice at the start of the 2009-10 season gave him an excellent opportunity. Due to the significant mistakes made by him, the pressure to drop him grew around the player. Pressure to drop him grew because of some key mistakes in significant games. Eventually, he was replaced by Van Der Sar and thus, Foster joined Birmingham City in May 2010 after appearing only in 23 games for Manchester United, featuring in the League Cup-winning squads of 2009 and 2010.
Foster’s performance was outstanding for Birmingham, as he guided them to their first major trophy in 48 years by defeating Arsenal 2–1 in the final. Foster was selected as Birmingham’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season in 2010–11 for his “series of inspired performances.” He signed a loan contract with Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on July 29, 2011, swapping places with Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill for the whole 2011–12 season. Foster took part in 37 of the team’s 38 league games. He also equalled West Brom’s Premier League clean sheet record with 10 clean sheets.
Foster re-signed for Premier League club Watford on 5 July 2018 on a two-year contract with the option of an extra year, for an unknown amount, following West Brom’s relegation to the Championship. He quickly surpassed Brazilian teammate Heurelho Gomes to become Watford’s first-choice goalkeeper, and he will continue to be Watford’s first-choice goalkeeper after the Hornets’ relegation from the Premier League in 2020. Later, Foster extended his contract with Watford for another two years in June 2020.