'Star sold by Manchester United 'would have been as good as £37m playmaker', says Meulensteen

Former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen has bemoaned the club failing to hold onto Giuseppe Rossi.

It is a decade ago since Giuseppe Rossi was lighting up the Manchester United reserve team, looking every inch the future star.

The Italian however found his progress into the first team stunted by the presence of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo he was sold in 2007 as the club bought Carlos Tevez.

Rossi's development had taken a slight step back with two under-par loans at Newcastle and Parma, but there was never any doubt he was destined for the top, when he was sold to Villareal.

Former United assistant boss Rene Meulensteen believes United should never have sold the Italian, for he would now be a top level player at the club.

He told TMW: "He's a talent. I've always liked him a lot. He's a professional. Sometimes big clubs must make painful choices and Manchester United I'm sure did not sell him lightly.

"Personally, I would never have succumbed because you could see that igewould become a major in the Premier League, he would have been what David Silva, Nasri, and Mata are. All are players who play in the middle of the lines and Rossi would be perfect in that position."

A series of sensational performances at the La Liga side put him on the cusp of a move to Barcelona, before he agonisingly suffered not one, but two cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Upon a move to Fiorentina last season he bounced back, scoring 16 in 21 starts, before fitness issues saw him narrowly miss out on a World Cup place.

This season he has had more bad luck, ruled out for another five months with a knee problem.

United had a real period of success without Rossi, but had they kept him, perhaps it would have been the Italian who would have benefited more. Like United fans, he can only wonder what might have been if he could have convinced the Red Devils to keep him.

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