Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t make many mistakes during his long tenure in charge of Manchester United and when he did, he more often than not made up for them.
Since his retirement though there have been two persistently resurfacing issues that perhaps stain the legendary Scot’s record deeper than any that were voiced during his reign; the sales of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison.
Though Ferguson provided justifiable reason for both to have been shipped away from Old Trafford, it’s hard to argue against those labelling their exit a mistake, given how they’ve developed at Juventus and West Ham respectively.
But whilst the pair are often banded together under one blanket, there are those who would dispute that their progressions couldn’t have been more different. And it’s with this respect that I can happily argue the absurdity behind the notion that David Moyes is looking to bring back the lost starlets this month.
We’ll start with Pogba, whose sale could have been sanctioned for a multitude of reasons depending on what paper you’re reading. Regardless of that though, the one thing that cannot be ignored is the meteoric rise he’s enjoyed since being welcomed into the Juventus fold.
It’s no mean feat that the French youngster is now considered to be the key man in a Juve midfield which also contains the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal, and the plaudits he has garnered from a number of esteemed footballing names speak volumes of the individual development he has made.
Experience in the Champions League as well as having amassed seven caps for the France senior team mean that Pogba has completed his transition from promising young starlet to a very efficient performer who plays with a level of maturity which exceeds his age.
Put plainly, there’s a reason Manchester United won’t be getting him anytime soon.
In stark contrast, and I mean this with the greatest respect, Morrison has achieved very little since departing United. Sure, his wish for regular first-team action has been granted, and at times he has shown glimpses of the player he could become, but he is a considerable distance away from being the complete package that some are billing him as.
In the current climate Moyes’ priority should be to bring in players who carry reputations not because of the player they could become, but solely down to the player they are.
At 20 years of age it’s not ridiculous to advocate that Morrison could well be a leading Premier League star within three years, but were Moyes to activate the mooted £10million buy-back clause embedded in his contract, I fear that United would only be bringing back a slightly more efficient machine than the one they let go in 2012.
Then of course there’s his controversial reputation to consider- rumoured to be one of the reasons Ferguson consented to his sale in the first place. Though some believe he has matured both on and off the pitch, there’s been more than one occasion in the past year that call those claims into question.
I’m not going to refute the idea that Ferguson made a mistake in letting Morrison go, nor would I advise against United re-signing him in the future, but a transfer in this month would do nothing but emit a resonating sound of desperation from Old Trafford.