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Five Ferguson transfer gaffes following Pogba’s rise to stardom

| 14.05.2015

Despite becoming the most successful British manager of all time during his time at Old Trafford, and overseeing Manchester United’s meteoric rise to dominance in the top tier of English football, Sir Alex Ferguson was also prone to making mistakes in the transfer market.

Juventus and Italy number one goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has recently been the latest star to criticise the successful Scot over his failings over dealing with former Red Devils prospect Paul Pogba, with the Frenchman now at the core of the Serie A champions’ midfield.

“After just a few training sessions, we saw how good he was. It cannot have been the same player they saw in Manchester – we thought they maybe needed glasses,” stated Buffon.

“I have never seen a player who is so good at his age. He is so strong, so technically gifted and has exceptional all-round play.

“Pogba can do things only Pogba can, similar to Messi and Ronaldo. United let one of the top players in the world leave but that has been only good news for us.”

The 22-year-old United youth product is now Europe’s hottest property, having left the red half of Manchester in 2011 because of a lack of opportunities under Ferguson, and a disagreement over contract terms.

Following Buffon’s scathing words, Coral outline five other gaffs United’s legendary boss made in his career.

Jaap Stam
The dominant Dutch defender spent three jubilant seasons at Old Trafford, earning a trio of Premier League titles, an FA Cup triumph and was part of the famous treble-winning squad in 1999.

However, Stam was controversially sold to Lazio by Ferguson in 2002, after a reported bust-up over the centre back’s revealing autobiography. Although, the former United boss later revealed that it was one of his biggest regrets, claiming he thought the Dutchman would lose form through injury.

Watch Stam score his only ever United goal, much to Ferguson’s delight.

Gerard Pique
Barcelona’s heroic centre back signed for the Red Devils after being brought through the Catalan club’s youth system, but the Spaniard was unable to break into a regular first-team spot under Ferguson and eventually moved back to the Nou Camp.

On his arrival back in Spain, Pique has went on to enjoy a trophy-laden career, winning four La Liga crowns and a double of Champions League medals, while United are still struggling to build a strong rear guard.

Pique is tracking further European success this term and his current employers are odds-on 4/9 favourites with Coral to win the Champions League.

Watch Pique steal the Wembley net after beating United in the 2011 Champions League final.

David Beckham
Despite receiving a reported £30m for Beckham when he joined Real Madrid in 2003, the English set-piece specialist was still in his prime and, if not for Ferguson’s heated confrontation with the player, could still have enjoyed a prolonged career in red.

Watch Beckham strike his first ever United goal with his former boss Ferguson watching closely.

Sir Alex made many blunders when it came to incomers too, with Portuguese flop Bebe possibly one of the worst of his managerial career.

The wideman, currently on-loan at Cordoba from Benfica, was captured for a staggering £7.4m by United, despite Ferguson only meeting the player for the first time a day before his arrival. In 2014, after many poor loan spells, the faltering forward departed for Benfica, bringing to an end one of Ferguson’s worst transfer dealings.

Watch Bebe score an incredibly lucky goal, following it up with an even more incredible celebration.

After being one of Brazil’s driving forces in their World Cup triumph in 2002, the Samba midfielder opted to join United in a £6.5m deal, despite reported interest from Barcelona, Celtic and Leeds United.

Although, Ferguson will have wished he had missed out on the World Cup winner’s signature, as he went on to make only 20 appearances and score just two Premier League goals, before leaving for Besiktas after a torrid three-year stint.

Current boss Louis van Gaal will need to avoid similar signings this summer in order to challenge for the title next season, with United a 9/2 chance to secure domestic success.

Watch highlights of Kleberson playing against Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.