Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed his “great respect” for his former players Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Anders Lindegaard.
The trio played under van Gaal during the Dutchman’s first season in charge of the club but they all ended up moving to West Bromwich Albion, who Man United face this weekend.
Fletcher and Evans, in particular, made a number of appearances for United’s first-team and it will be good for fans to see them again.
Van Gaal insisted he admires the ambition shown by the trio as they looked for regular football elsewhere after falling out of favour at Old Trafford.
“To make the decision to go from United to another club is a big one, but they have made it out of ambition and I like that very much,” van Gaal said.
“You can also decide to stay and not play and train – a lot of players are doing that, but I have a great respect for these players.”
There is no doubt that Fletcher, Evans and Lindegaard will receive a warm welcome when they return to Manchester on Saturday. However, van Gaal will be eager for his team to focus on the matter at hand and secure a positive result in order to relieve some of the tension currently surrounding the club.