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Rio Ferdinand claims Manchester United should never have sold £18m player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rio Ferdinand regrets Manchester United selling Chris Smalling to Roma, highlighting recruitment issues and praising Smalling's success in Italy.

Rio Ferdinand has expressed his belief that Manchester United made a grave error in letting defender Chris Smalling go to Roma in 2020. The decision to sell Smalling was part of a larger shift in United's recruitment strategy, opting to bring in Raphael Varane instead. However, Varane's impact has not been as significant as hoped.

In the meantime, Lisandro Martinez has been considered a quality player, but his injury history has been a cause for concern. Surprisingly, the 36-year-old Jonny Evans has emerged as one of the more reliable options available. Looking back, it's easy for critics to point out where United went wrong in their transfer decisions.

Ferdinand has been vocal in his opinion that United should have retained both Smalling and Evans, emphasizing the importance of experienced players who understand the club's culture. Smalling was initially loaned out to Roma before making the move permanent for a reported fee of around £18 million. Since then, Smalling has flourished in Serie A, establishing himself as one of the top centre backs in Italian football.

While Smalling had his fair share of shortcomings at United, his success in Italy has been a testament to his resilience and determination. Some may argue that United would have been better off keeping Smalling instead of investing in Harry Maguire, while others may believe that his departure was inevitable. Regardless, Smalling has continued to thrive in his new environment, rejuvenating his career and proving his worth on the pitch. Despite being overlooked for the England national team since 2017, Smalling remains focused on excelling at Roma and making the most of his opportunities.

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