Posted on Thursday, 1st April 2010 by The Red Knight
As I sat and watched probably the worst 2-2 thrashing of all time at the Emirates yesterday it dawned on me that one of the central components of that great Barcelona side was a player United let go for a fee of around £5m.
Last night Gerard Pique was a rock in Barca’s defence and has been so since he became a first team regular at the Nou Camp and although he will miss the second leg against Arsenal after picking up a yellow card and Barca wilted late on conceding twice it does not diminish his performance.
Having watched Pique the question I ask myself is how was such a talent let go?
I saw an article on another site talking about how we must be ruing the fact we let him go and immediately my response was we have Jonny Evans and the fact Evans was going through a rough patch at the time made it easy for such articles to spring up all over the place but his best Jonny more than does his job.
Despite this it gets to a stage where we should not look at it like a comparison between the two and view Pique on his own.
Both are good defenders in their own right, Jonny looks like nothing flusters him and when fully fit I’m more than confident to see his name on the team sheet but Pique is a very classy player too. Not only can he defend he can play ball too and looks close to being the completed article at just 23. A full international for one of the best team in the world who will be looking to shine at this summer’s World Cup, Pique clearly is a talent. I just wonder how or why he left?
Obviously playing time was hard to come about in his spell at the club and he was employed in the middle of the park rather than at the back in his preferred position but at that age and stage in his career I don’t think that would have been as big a problem as some may expect.
In a season where we have been racked by injuries at the back it would have been great to have him and yes I understand hindsight is wonderful but if Evans can make it here then I’m pretty sure Gerard could have too.
To sign a player of his ability now would cost a side a good few million but we let him go for just £5m which at the time may have seemed good business but even then, knowing that he possessed the ability he does (he didn’t become world class overnight) a couple more million would have made the loss that bit easier to handle.
So this summer, if Vidic does actually leave I just hope Smalling does fulfil the potential that made us splash £12m to sign him or the loss of Pique could look worse than it already does.