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Were Manchester United a little haste in letting starlet go?

Football FanCast
columnist
Mark Bryans wonders if Sir Alex Ferguson may have made a
mistake in his decision to sell Chris Eagles.

 

 

Despite being the most successful Manchester United manager
of all time, even though he is considered by his peers as the greatest manager
in the World, and although it would take a lot for him to personally admit it,
Sir Alex Ferguson does, from time to time, make mistakes.

 

He has claimed that selling Jaap Stam was the biggest
mistake made in his time at United. It was his decision to allow the likes of
Paul Ince, Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and David Beckham to leave –
seemingly in their prime – he has ultimately been proved correct in his
decision making as the trophies continue to fill the cabinet at Old Trafford.

 

I'm not about to claim he has let a player leave who could
have changed everything, who could have moved mountains in Manchester and who
was even guaranteed to break into the first team. But since allowing Chris
Eagles to leave the club the youngster from Hemel
Hempstead has flourished. Burnley
have had an amazing first half of the season and Eagles has been a huge part of
that.

 

He had played a handful of times for United, but never had a
run in the team. He always impressed and rarely let the side down. His goal at
Everton in the vital 4-2 win which all but sealed the title in 06/07 was taken
with aplomb, and he even featured on a regular basis in the pre-season
preparations for this campaign.

 

He seemed to be finally ready to become a regular member of
the first team squad, but as soon as Burnley
registered an interest he was off. You cannot blame Eagles himself, he clearly
felt ready for a new challenge and maybe felt he could become a big fish in a smaller
pond. Certainly his performances since the move have proved his self-confidence
is not misplaced and he has been linked with a move back to the Premier League,
deservedly so.

 

Would he have impacted on United's season thus far? It is
hard to predict. He would have added bodies to a squad and with seven
substitutes now being permitted he would surely have been on the periphery. But
as the Champions fight for trophies on four fronts in the New Year, he would
surely have been utilised, if only in perceived ‘smaller' games.

 

Sir Alex would probably say he allowed Eagles to move in
order to allow him to play football, but maybe a season-long loan to a club
like Burnley, or even a Premier League club
would have been a good option. Kieran Richardson excelled in his loan spell at
West Bromwich Albion a few seasons ago and his reward was a chance in the
United first team. He has since been moved on, but it could have been a very
different story.

 

One thing that is certain is that last night Eagles ran the
show for Burnley in the first half of their heavy
defeat at White Hart Lane
in the Carling Cup against holders Tottenham Hotspur. If he can keep impressing
in big games and consistently performing as well as he has been, he could find
himself a permanent Premier League fixture next season, whether it is at
current club Burnley or after a summer move to
another top-flight side.

 

 

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FootballFanCast

Article title: Were Manchester United a little haste in letting starlet go?

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