Ferguson - in his new book, Leading - explains how he exacted “revenge” over Arsenal after missing out on Aaron Ramsey two years earlier, thanks to a little help from the current England manager.
"I got my revenge when Roy Hodgson, then the manager of Fulham, was instrumental in helping us snatch the defender, Chris Smalling, away from Arsenal,” Ferguson was quoted as saying in his new book by the Express.
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Smalling, now 25, has developed into a first-class central defender - particularly within the past 12 months - with the help of coaches at Old Trafford.
United signed the England international in January 2010 for £10 million - per the Mirror - a transfer fee which, five-and-a-half years later, looks a relative bargain.
Wenger and Arsenal glad to have Ramsey
However, one suspects that Arsene Wenger is not overly disappointed he missed out on Smalling, particularly after securing the services of Ramsey ahead of Manchester United in 2008.
So confident were the Red Devils that they’d lured the Wales international to Old Trafford that they posted an update on their official website claiming a fee had been agreed to sign the former Cardiff City starlet.
Ramsey, after a difficult few years at the Emirates Stadium, has established his status as one of Arsenal’s key players - and, at 24, still has the best years of his career ahead of him.
Arsenal fans: would you rather the Gunners had signed Aaron Ramsey or Chris Smalling? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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