Was £2 million deal one of Manchester United's best pieces of summer transfer business?

Park Ji Sung

Manchester United sold Park Ji-Sung to QPR last summer. Has this season proved they were right to move him on?

Park Ji-Sung was described by Sir Alex Ferguson last summer as a 'fantastic servant' and an 'ultimate professional'.

It was a fitting tribute to the South Korean who played seven seasons with Manchester United, disproving that he was bought to sell shirts, performing to a high standard with regularity and netting a number of crucial goals for the club.

But did Sir Alex Ferguson know, better than anyone else could have done, that the 31-year-old was well and truly past his prime?

For a player who was described as 'having a third lung' due to his breathless energy, a slowdown seemed unlikely but has perhaps been inevitable, and in his final season at United it really showed.

In his last season at Old Trafford, he scored just two league goals, his lowest ever return, and was frequently underwhelming. His overall level of performance was disappointing to the end that he was a standout candidate to be moved on in the summer.

And so it proved, with QPR a willing buyer. And why not, they were getting a player with untold experience and ability, who at 31 still seemed to have plenty of years at the top level ahead of him.

The exact price of the transfer is disputable, but it appears QPR did not pay anywhere near the £5 million ceiling the deal could have risen to.

The BBC stated last summer that the transfer stood at an initial £2 million up front, while online resource TransferLeagueHistory list the deal at £2.5 million. Alternatively, transfer encyclopedia Transfermarkt, which QPR's Tony Fernandes was said to use to consult on players, claim the transfer cost the Hoops £2.7 million.

Whichever, and taking it at it's lowest point for the sake of argument, given the level of performance an impact from Park Ji-Sung this season, it is looking like a very good piece of business from United's perspective to have moved him on.

Don't forget as well as netting a seven-figure sum for selling him on, they will have also saved a not so insignificant amount on his wages, also likely seven-figures over the course of the season.

Park was handed the captaincy at QPR, but failed to inspire them from day one. It was sad to see, but he looked like a shadow of the player who was often so dynamic for United.

He missed 10 games in November and December with a knee injury, and has been in and out of the side ever since.

Out of QPR's last 11 matches, Park has spent the last seven as an unused substitute, an underwhelming end to his campaign.

He is not expected to be retained next season, while talk of retirement was recently denied, the very latest links have suggested him as a summer signing for Cardiff.

If QPR can get some money for him, they will have done well to reclaim the small amount they spent last summer.

From United's perspective, moving him on rather than letting his contract run down was in retrospect clearly an excellent move.

Did United pull a fast one on QPR last summer? What do you think the future holds for Park?

image: © Magnus D

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch