Louis van Gaal was quick to ship out what he saw as deadwood when he first arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014.
Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley and Patrice Evra all left the club in the Dutchman’s first transfer window at Old Trafford.
That trend continued in 2015 with Javier Hernandez, Angel Di Maria, Rafael, Robin Van Persie and Jonny Evans all shown the door.
In Evans’ case, West Brom snapped him up for £6million and the deadline day move left former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson stunned.
Evans’ former boss at international level, Michael O’Neill, told the Belfast Telegraph that Ferguson admitted to him in 2016 that he couldn’t believe Van Gaal’s decision.
O’Neill said: “In September after last year’s Euros, there was a conference in France for the coaches and Sir Alex was there talking about it and he openly said to me that he could not believe Van Gaal had sold Jonny from United because having seen him come through, he felt Jonny would spend his whole career at United or certainly to the latter stages of his career.
“I think there were a lot of factors why he ended up at West Brom. In the previous two years he had an injury and at Manchester United they had Ferdinand and Vidic and then Jonny and there was a succession plan that didn’t happen because of the change in manager.”
(Originally published June 23, 2017)
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