"They were the lifeblood" - Rio Ferdinand slams Man United for letting five players go
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Rio Ferdinand has criticised Manchester United for letting five players leave the club.
Back in 2013, United were crowned Premier League champions during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season before his retirement.
At the time, Ferdinand was an integral part of the squad that managed to wrestle the title back from Manchester City’s grasp.
The former England international eventually left the club after David Moyes’ dreadful first season in charge at Old Trafford.
After Ferdinand’s departure, the likes of Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Rafael and Fabio Da Silva also departed.
Ferdinand has now stated that United made a mistake in letting some of the club’s academy members leave.
He said on his YouTube channel Vibe with Five: “They were the lifeblood of Manchester United, they all came through the system, all Man United boys, and that was lost as well.
“That was a part of what the club had been built on before, people who would come through the academy were integral to everything Man United stood for.
Ferdinand continued: “And they were getting rid of those players willy-nilly, I couldn't believe the club even allowed it.
“What they did at Man United they could've done that for the rest of their career.”
Striker Welbeck was offloaded to Arsenal in a deal worth a reported £16 million, he went on to score 32 goals in 126 appearances for the Gunners and is now playing for Brighton and Hove Albion.
Mexican hero Hernandez played for the likes of Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham before joining LA Galaxy.
Meanwhile, Rafael and Fabio joined Lyon and Cardiff City respectively after their Old Trafford exits.
Ferdinand then added that Evans should never have been let go by the club.
He said: “He [Evans] should never have been allowed to leave the club. He was the best centre-half at the club when we all left.
“Smalling's had a great career, don't get me wrong, but Jonny Evans is a better player, 100 per cent.”