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6 players who scored on their official Man United debut and were never seen again

Romelu Lukaku joined an exclusive club of Man United players who scored on their official debuts, but not every one went on to have a successful career

Romelu Lukaku joined an exclusive club when he netted against Real Madrid on his official Man United debut.

Ruud van Nistelrooy, Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all did the same, so Lukaku is in esteemed company.

But not every United player who scored on his debut went on to taste success. Here’s to those who fell by the wayside.


Welcome to the club Rom

Getty Images - Getty
Welcome to the club Rom

Kieran Lee (October 2006 vs Crewe Alexandra)

Lee struck in the 119th minute of a Carling Cup tie against Crewe to settle a game in which David Gray, Phil Marsh, Ritchie Jones and Michael Barnes all played.

Like those unfamiliar faces Lee’s United career didn’t progress much further, with just two additional appearances following.

After spells at QPR and Oldham Lee joined Sheffield Wednesday in 2012, where he’s settled as a solid Championship midfielder.

Name them all for five bonus points

Name them all for five bonus points

Federico Macheda (April 2009 vs Aston Villa)

Look up the word ‘Macheda’ in the dictionary and you’ll find it described as the embodiment of flash in a pan.

His stunning goal against Villa arguably snatched the title out of Liverpool’s hands in 2012, and he followed that up with a goal against Sunderland.

But fast forward eight years and he’s playing for second tier Italian side Novara, having been bounced out of (pause for breath) Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers, Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest.

Standing up when shooting is massively overrated

Getty - Contributor
Standing up when shooting is massively overrated

Alexander Buttner (September 2012 vs Wigan)

Buttner has one more Premier League medal than Steven Gerrard, and Lionel Messi for that matter, so who are we to criticise?

But ask United fans about the Dutch left-back and you’re likely to get a bemused look, given he only played 13 Premier League games in two years.

He can now be found at Vitesse, although he’s not on loan from Chelsea. Go figure.

‘I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again’

Mark Robinson - The Sun
‘I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again’

Nick Powell (September 2012 vs Wigan)

The ‘new Paul Scholes’ briefly lived up to his reputation with a debut goal against Wigan.

That would be his only goal in a United shirt during four years at Old Trafford, punctuated by loan spells at Wigan, Leicester and Hull.

He’s now rebuilding his career at Wigan where he’ll be playing against the likes of Fleetwood Town and Gillingham.

Just like Scholesy

AP:Associated Press
Just like Scholesy

James Wilson (May 2014 vs Hull)

Wilson is still at United, so it’s a bit harsh call an end to his time in Manchester before he’s officially left.

But after scoring twice against Hull, in that beautiful time when Ryan Giggs was manager and everything was perfect, he’s hardly been seen since.

Four games without scoring for Derby County last season wasn’t a very promising sign but European Golden boot winner Luca Toni took seven seasons to kick a ball in Italy’s top flight, so who knows.

‘Are you Alan Shearer in disguise?’

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
‘Are you Alan Shearer in disguise?’

Josh Harrop (May 2017 vs Crystal Palace)

Harrop has to have one of the best goals per minutes ratios in United history.

His one and only appearance for United saw the Stockport-born midfielder score against Palace, only to be shipped off to Preston at the end of the season.

At least he can console himself in being part of the ‘David Nugent one game, one goal’ club.

All together now… Y.M.C.A

PA:Press Association
All together now… Y.M.C.A

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