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The Spanish international has become regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in the world in recent years, having shone consistently both for club and country to win a host of major honours.
However, according to Goal.com, United decided against signing him as Ferguson felt he was quite good enough to justify playing in a number ten role without a great deal of defensive responsibility.
“We watched Silva a lot when he was at Valencia,” the Scot said.
“My problem with [Silva playing as a No.10] was you have to be very, very good to play in that position, because there’s no defensive duties for them.
“So if you’re wanting to be be really successful, everyone has to take their turn, has to work, you know? So I had a difficulty with that.”