'They were the lifeblood' - Man Utd bosses slammed by Rio Ferdinand for getting rid of five players who 'were integral to everything'

Rio Ferdinand Manchester United Getty Images
  • Man Utd's decision to sell key players criticized
  • Welbeck, Hernandez, Evans, and Da Silva twins were sold
  • Ferdinand emphasized the importance of academy graduates

WHAT HAPPENED? The former defender expressed his disappointment with the club's decision to offload Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans, and the Da Silva twins after they struggled to make an impact in the post-Ferguson era. Ferdinand believes this decision was a significant mistake, especially concerning Evans, who he considers to have been the best centre-back at the club after his departure.

While Evans was sold to West Brom in 2015 for £6m, Welbeck was transferred to Arsenal and the Da Silva brothers, Rafael and Fabio, were shipped off to Lyon and Cardiff City, respectively.

WHAT THEY SAID: “One of the big things they messed up on… they sold the Da Silva twins, they sold Welbeck, they sold Chicharito, Jonny Evans, all in a short space of time,” Ferdinand said on Vibe With Five.

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“They were the lifeblood of Man United, they all came through the system, all Man United boys, and that was lost as well. That was a part of what the club had been built on before, people who would come through the academy were integral to everything Man United stood for. And they were getting rid of those players willy-nilly, I couldn’t believe the club even allowed it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rafael is currently playing for Botafogo while Fabio represents Gremio. Chicharito is a star forward for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer (MLS) and Welbeck continues to ply his trade in the Premier League at Brighton, scoring seven goals in 37 matches this season. Ferdinand firmly believes these players were talented enough to continue contributing to United and has insisted that Leicester City defender Evans is better than Chris Smalling, who left Old Trafford to join Roma in 2019.

"Welbeck’s good enough now, Chicharito 100 per cent, Rafa and Fabio Da Silva, what they did at Man United they could’ve done that for the rest of their career, 100 per cent," he added. "Jonny Evans was one of the biggest travesties in that time to have left. He should never have been allowed to leave the club. He was the best centre-half at the club when we all left. [Chris] Smalling’s had a great career, don’t get me wrong, but Jonny Evans is a better player, 100 per cent."


Chicharito Puig LA GalaxyGettyLeicester 2022-23 Jonny EvansGettyWelbeck Man CityGetty

WHAT NEXT? Manchester United are looking ahead to a busy transfer market where they are expected to add at least one central defender and a striker to reinforce the squad ahead of next season.

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