Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed why he turned down the opportunity to sign David Silva from Valencia before he went to Manchester City.
Ferguson, speaking to Sirius XM in America, explained that he felt Silva didn’t contribute enough defensively to warrant the signing. Presumably more Paul Scholes-like hacks from behind would have sealed the deal?
Fergie said that he would have changed his demand for defensive contributions for a player of Lionel Messi’s quality, but Silva was not at that level.
“We watched Silva a lot when he was at Valencia,” Ferguson said. “And the other player they had, the same type, years before it, played in that No. 10 role.
“My problem with that was you have to be very, very good to play in that position, because there’s no defensive duties for them.
“So if you’re wanting to be really successful, everyone has to do their turn, has to work, you know?
“So I had a difficulty with that. But, in the end, of course, there’s the greats. You could say Lionel Messi was a No. 10 type, [Diego] Maradona, some fantastic players, and I don’t dispute that.
“But at United we always found it difficult. The kind of No. 10 I used came from my experience as a footballer.”
Apropos of nothing, in the year before and after City signed David Silva for £24m, Ferguson spent £33m on Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia. You can keep your “defensive duties”.