Louis van Gaal’s decision to sell Manchester United stalwart Jonny Evans to West Brom left club legend Sir Alex Ferguson baffled, according to Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.
Evans joined West Brom in the summer of 2015 for a reported fee of £6million, having won three Premier League titles with United, where he came through the youth system.
Northern Ireland boss O’Neill has now revealed that Ferguson made his disbelief at Van Gaal’s decision clear, as he felt the defender would have seen out the majority of his career at Old Trafford.
‘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,” O’Neill told the Belfast Telegraph.
‘Having seen him come through, Sir Alex 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 Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
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‘Then Jonny and there was a succession plan that didn’t happen because of the change in manager.
‘At that time he was on the radar of other big clubs. I know that for a fact but they possibly had reservations about him because of the injuries he had and because he maybe hadn’t played as much in the previous 18 months. That was just unfortunate.’