Five Gamers Who Turned Planet-Class Following Leaving Manchester United – Pique And Pogba Provided

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Gerard Pique Barcelona GoalA few big names United will wish had stayed around just a little longer.

We take a look at five players who became world class after leaving Manchester United. How would have United’s fortunes panned out if some of these stars had hung around?

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Tim Howard (Everton)

Tim Howard Manchester United

Granted the now Everton goalkeeper isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in-between the sticks and some may not consider him world class.

However, there’s not doubt that Howard has developed from an erratic and almost heart attack inducing youngster to a highly competent and composed international goalkeeper.

His heroics against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup helped make the USA the second team of many a supporter, but the American was always going to find it hard to break into the United team whilst still maturing and the ever brilliant Edwin van der Sar breathing down his neck.

Guiseppe Rossi (Fiorentina)

Guiseppe Rossi  Manchester United

Rossi never got the chance he seemingly deserved at United. Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney,Ruud van Nistelrooy, Alan Smith, Cristiano Ronaldo – just a few of the names preferred to then developing Italian forward.

After just 14 appearances over two years for the Red Devils, where he managed to score a not too paltry four goals, the Italian was sold to Villarreal.

Maybe now he’ll be viewed as a bullet dodged considering just how many knee injuries he has had in recent seasons, but there’s no doubting his immense talent. He managed 32 goals in one season at the peak of his powers, after forming an immense partnership with Nilmar.

Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka)

Forlan Manchester United

Despite taking 27 games to score his first goal for the side, Forlan has become a cult hero amongst the United faithful since his departure in 2004. Probably for those ridiculous cornrows.

Subsequent spells at Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, as well as his stunning performances for Uruguay show what a unique talent he can be and could have been for the Red Devils.

Granted, United at the time had Rooney and Ronaldo available in the South American’s position.

Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona)

Pique Manchester United

Poached from Barcelona in a similar way Cesc Fabregas was at Arsenal, Pique was brought to United at just 17 years old but was never able to flourish in England like his Spanish compatriot.

After playing just 12 league games in four seasons, Pique was sold back to Barca for just £5 million in 2008 and has since gone on to win a hatful of trophies, including two Champions League titles at United’s expense.

Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Paul Pogba Manchester United

Just how big a mistake United made letting Pogba leave for Juve in 2012 will be revealed in years to come.

However, if the young Frenchman’s current progression is anything to go by, United may be kicking themselves for quite some time.

Instrumental in La Bianconeri’s two Scudetto’s since his arrival, the 21 year old showcased his talent for all to see at the World Cup in Brazil, confirming himself as one of the world’s most exciting rising talents.

You know you’re on the right track when Zinedine Zidane says: “[Pogba] will go on to be one of the best central midfield players in Europe.”