Did Sir Alex miss a £4m trick with Spaniard?

Football FanCast guest columnist Ray Lovell doesn't feel that United missed a trick in cashing in on Pique, regardless of what the Press may think.

Rio Ferdinand must wake up every morning and wondered who he ever upset in a former life, given the media's reaction to him of late. A player, who only 12 months ago was being hailed as one of the best defenders in the world, is now being seen as someone who is washed up, injury prone and on the way out.

It is outrageous to be honest, totally unfair and why Rio has been guilty of a lapse in concentration in the past weeks, people should remember that he has come back from two big injuries and he is still finding his match fitness and sharpness. That doesn't come back to a player overnight and it will probably be a good few weeks until he finally gets back to his best; however that hasn't stopped the media taking a pop and dragging up ghosts from the past and this morning they have run a feature on how Fergie must be regretting the decision to let Gerald Pique leave for Barcelona.

They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I seem to remember the Press weren't too complimentary about the Spaniard whenever he represented the club. The £4m deal seemed like good business at the time, however given Pique has improved no end at Barca and Rio is struggling for form, it suddenly appears to be one of the club's greatest mistakes of all time. I personally have never regretted the decision by Sir Alex in letting him go, as I feel and still feel that he is unable to handle the pace or hustle and bustle of the English game; he is certainly no better than Jonny Evans, who for me is the natural successor to Rio anyway.

So is this going to be a running theme now with regards to Rio and every mistake in the coming weeks is going to be met with catcalls from the Press to try and discredit him in any way possible, and the dragging up of past players who have since left Old Trafford and succeeded elsewhere. Rio is a world class talent and on a different level to the likes of Pique and history shows that Fergie doesn't tend to make mistakes when it comes to offloading younger players. Ferdinand maybe suffering at the moment for confidence, but as they say ‘form is temporary, class is permanent'.

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