Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the reason he chose not to sign David Silva from Valencia.
Ferguson admitted to keeping tabs on the Spanish midfielder but eventually decided against a move for the 29-year-old, who ended up moving to Manchester City in 2010 instead. Silva has become one of City’s most important players and has been hugely impressive every since he came to the Premier League.
It is certainly a case of ‘what could have been’ for United had they chosen to sign Silva, especially given he went to the Reds biggest rivals and has helped them win two Premier League titles since.
Ferguson opened up about his thought process behind choosing not to sign the Spaniard: “We watched Silva a lot when he was at Valencia,”
“And the other player they had, the same type, years before it, played in that No.10 role.
“My problem with that was you have to be very, very good to play in that position, because there’s no defensive duties for them.
“So if you’re wanting to be be really successful, everyone has to do their turn, has to work, you know?”
Ferguson insinuated that he decided not to bring Silva to Old Trafford due to his lack of defensive discipline, something the Scot feels is important for a number 10. Silva’s talent is undeniable and it is a wonder why Ferguson would want him carrying out defensive duties.
He added: “So I had a difficulty with that. But, in the end, of course, there’s the greats.
“You could say Lionel Messi was a No.10 type, Maradona, some fantastic players, and I don’t dispute that.
“But at United we always found it difficult. The kind of No.10 I used came from my experience as a footballer.”
Silva at United could have made a difference to the side when the Reds lost the league title to City on goal difference in 2012 as he proved his worth time and time again in that season and the ones following it. However, City will likely be without their star man for the Manchester derby at the end of the month, when City make the trip across town to Old Trafford. Silva is recovering from an ankle injury and is a major doubt for the huge clash a fortnight from now.