In a lengthy managerial career, Sir Alex Ferguson must have seen plenty of surprising moves and deals, so it’s hard to believe that in retirement he was shocked at a decision made by Louis Van Gaal.
Louis Van Gaal’s two seasons with Manchester United wasn’t all bad. He won the club’s first trophy post Alex Ferguson, and also fired them back into the champions league.
The Dutchman however did make a decision to sell a player that shocked Fergie.
Admittedly when I first heard that Sir Alex was shocked at a player that Van Gaal had sold I immediately thought, “ah much by Javier Hernandez.” Seeing as the Mexican has made himself one of the best strikers in Europe during his time at Leverkusen.
Turns out it isn’t Hernandez. It’s Northern Ireland’s centre back Jonny Evans.
In an interview with Belfast Telegraph, Evans’ international manager, Michael O’Neill has claimed that the decision to sell Evans came as a shock to Ferguson.
“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,”
Michael O’Neill then said that Sir Alex thought Evans would just always be a United player or atleast be there until the latter stages of his career.
O’Neill doesn’t know the exact reason why Evans left for West Brom, but said there could have been a number of different factors.
“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.”
Jonny Evans now 29 has had a good resurgence under Tony Pulis as West Brom, and hasn’t been plagued with as many injuries as he was in his later Manchester United years.