Rio Ferdinand has explained why Paul Pogba chose to leave Manchester United and join Serie A side Juventus.
The French midfielder joined United in 2009 from Le Havre as a teenager and left on a free transfer in 2012 to play for Juventus.
Pogba has become one of the best midfielders in the world and helped Juventus to a Scudetto and into the Champions League final last year.
Ferdinand explained why the Frenchman left the club: “Potentially, Pogba can be a Ballon d’Or winner.
“I asked him. Why are you going? Where are you going? You’re going to Juventus. That’s not as good a league as the Premier League. You’re at Manchester United. Where are you going? What are you doing? He looked at me deadpan and went: ‘I want to be the best player in the world and I’m not playing. I want to go and play.’
When asked whether Ferguson made a mistake with Pogba, Ferdinand said: “I do, but that’s with hindsight. Sir Alex Ferguson would say the same thing.
“I think he has the personality to be the best. I think Pogba really will go on to be the best player in the world in the next three or four years. He’s got that personality. That desire to be the best player. The way he trains, the way he looks at his game. He believes in himself like not many other players I’ve seen.”
Letting Pogba go will always remain one of the worst decisions Sir Alex made in his lifetime as United manager (although it does have some way to go to be worse than recommending David Moyes to succeed him).
Luckily for United, midfield is now one of the positions where there is so much quality in the squad so there are other areas which need far more attention, such as up front and in defence.
For years, midfield was the bogey part of United’s side but now under van Gaal it has become the strongest area, both in terms of quality and depth.