This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, John Hartson has hailed Sir Alex Ferguson’s ability to rejuvenate his squad and move players on at exactly the right time.
The likes of Manchester United, and even rivals Tottenham, have been presented with a situation where their most high-profile players have expressed a desire to leave.
The Red Devils have already seen the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez depart in the summer, whilst Spurs face the prospect of losing Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld over the course of the next year or so.
And now, Hartson has tipped his hat to Ferguson’s ability to constantly stay on top of things, and to accurately make strong judgement calls on the players who needed to be shipped out.
He said: “There’s always change at football clubs but that’s where managers show their class.
“Sir Alex Ferguson knew when to get rid of great players. He knew when players were fading away. Sir Alex was great at that.”
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Make no mistake about it, ensuring you’re making the right decision in moving players on is a true art form.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already seen the perils of trying to refresh his squad, most notably through the current shortage of options they have up front. Would Ferguson have given the green-light to let both Lukaku and Sanchez go in the same window without first having signed a replacement? Probably not.
Solskjaer is still in the infancy of his managerial reign at the highest level, and it is therefore far too ridiculous and premature to expect the Norwegian to have the same sort of nous that United’s greatest ever boss had.
But as the Red Devils continue their rebuild, they have to get things absolutely spot on in regards to the personnel they let go over the coming months and years.