Begovic moved to Stoke in January (well, February).
Who is Valdes on loan from if he was a free agent? Himself?
You get players whenever you stump up the the money. I agree that summer deals are preferable, but then you lose that bit of leeway when you knowingly start the season with a goalkeeper who is grossly incompetent. A stopgap would have been fine as long as it meant getting Howard out of the team - he's that bad.
Fair enough on Begovic, but like I said he didn't become automatic first choice at Stoke IIRC.
As for Valdes, he really isn't all that. There's a reason nobody else took a punt on him either mate... and he's not a free agent either he's still on Utd's books hence the loan.
Also, we've got that stop gap in Joel who deserves his shot a lot more than Valdes would. Nothing wrong with Howard being here, he just shouldn't be first choice. We can move him on in the summer.