Ryan Giggs has revealed he battled with Louis van Gaal to try and convince the Dutchman to keep a collection of fan favourites at Manchester United.
Van Gaal went on a selling spree, attempting to clear deadwood at the club, but at times, it appeared he misjudged the situation. Homegrown Danny Welbeck was sold cheaply to Arsenal while Jonny Evans, a player who is currently interesting both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola as well as Arsene Wenger, was sold for very little to West Bromwich Albion.
A huge fan favourite, Rafael da Silva, was allowed to leave to Olympique Lyonnais. Giggs claims he tried to stop van Gaal from going through with those decisions.
“I know what a Manchester United player looks like,” Giggs asserted to The Times.
“There have been a lot who have come through that haven’t been United players and also players who were United players and shouldn’t have left. I’m talking about Rafael [Da Silva], [Danny] Welbeck, Jonny Evans — players who are United through and through.
“It was hard because Louis had his own ideas and you had to respect that, but, yes, we had a few arguments about a couple of them. He understood because I had played with those lads, but they just weren’t for him.
“Some of them, like Welbeck, wanted to play more regularly, and Jonny had a few injuries at the time, so you could understand it, but — and it’s not saying it in hindsight — recruitment hasn’t been great either.”
United fans miss Welbeck and Rafael, and can see Evans’ quality. The Reds’ recruitment in the last decade has been poor, and so has their ability to sell players.
Robin van Persie and Nani, two quality attackers, were sold for less than £10m combined. Javier Hernandez was allowed to leave for very little. Michael Keane was sold only to join Everton for £30m a few years later.
United haven’t cashed in on their products well enough, but they’ve also sold players unnecessarily like Welbeck, Evans and Rafael.