Former-Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was wrong to sell academy products Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The now-BT Sport pundit, of course formerly of Man United and England, implied that players like Cleverley and Welbeck should have been kept at the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson brought both of the English players through at Old Trafford and both were relatively important members of the squad during the title-winning campaign of 2012/13 and in other competitions like the UEFA Champions League. Welbeck scored away to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in that season.
After he left, David Moyes used both, but sporadically, and Louis van Gaal got rid of the pair when he took over in July 2014.
“I’m fairly confident the likes of Cleverley & Welbeck who came through the Manchester United system would have been at the club longer if Sir Alex Ferguson had stayed as manager,” Ferdinand said.
“[They] were vital members of the squad that loved the club and know the DNA.”
It’s a fair point. Academy graduates should always be given a little extra leeway than arrivals from other clubs. Welbeck and Cleverley were both United fans playing for their boyhood club.
Both were not good enough to start for the Refs under any manager but the genius that was Sir Alex Ferguson. However, that could have been kept as squad players because that understanding of the club and its traditions is important.