Sir Alex Ferguson may have presided over the most successful period in the history of Manchester United but the Red Devils boss is still likely to have a few regrets when it comes to the transfer market.
Ahead of Juventus’ semi-final clash against Real Madrid, Bianconeri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was keen to remind Red Devils fans about one in particular: Paul Pogba.
Ferguson famously brought Paul Scholes out of retirement to play for United rather than give the Frenchman a first-team opportunity.
It proved to be the final straw for Pogba, who subsequently moved to Juventus on a free transfer and the rest, as they say, is history.
“After just a few training sessions we saw how good he was. it cannot have been the same player they saw in Manchester – we thought they maybe needed glasses,” Buffon told reporters.
“Pogba can do things only Pogba can, similar to Messi and Ronaldo. United let one of the top players in the world leave…”
But where does the midfielder’s untimely Old Trafford exit rank in our list of Ferguson’s five biggest transfer regrets? Take a look at the options and cast your vote below.
Juan Sebastian Veron
United paid Lazio a hefty £28.1m to bring the Argentine maestro to Old Trafford in the summer of 2001, but Veron struggled to live up to the hype during his time in Manchester.
Though Ferguson vehemently defended the signing, getting involved in one infamous press conference row where he described him as a “f**king great player.” But the former Serie A favourite only got worse with time and was soon sent packing to Chelsea at a notable loss.
Back before the Brazilian was a serious contender for the title of best footballer in the world at Barcelona, he was a target for Manchester United, having signalled his intention to depart his then-club Paris Saint-Germain.
Ferguson had appeared confident of signing the Brazilian but everything changed when the Catalans got involved and outbid the Red Devils for the South American playmaker.
A transfer regret of an altogether different kind, Bebe arrived at Old Trafford for a not inconsiderable £7.4 million in the summer of 2010, having only just signed for Vitoria de Guimaraes five weeks previously.
It was a deal that appeared fishy for any number of reasons and the striker certainly did not look up to much at Manchester United, playing just two league games during his four-year spell on the club’s books. Oddly enough, he’s now at Benfica, after a good loan spell at Pacos de Ferreira.
Much has already been made of Ferguson’s decision to resurrect the career of Paul Scholes rather than gamble on Pogba but it’s worth looking at what the Frenchman has achieved since leaving Old Trafford.
To date, the 22-year-old has won three Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italianas, the Under-20 World Cup with France and the award for best young player at last summer’s World Cup.
It’s debateable as to whether Ferguson regrets the way in which Beckham departed Old Trafford for Real Madrid, but it’s difficult to argue that United would not have benefitted from his superb crossing and dead-ball abilities.
Though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer filled in on the right wing for some time, no one ever did it quite like D Becks, who was a homegrown talent loved by the fans, even after his France ’98 misdemeanors.
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