In the summer of 1995, when Sir Alex Ferguson sold Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis, people thought he had lost his mind. Alan Hanson famously claimed that the replacement for these players, the kids, would never win anything.

In an interview with ESPN, Ferguson has reflected on that decision and insisted that his faith in Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt is what allowed him to let Ince leave.

In 1995, we lost the league because we suspended Cantona. That’s a fact. We lost the league on the last day at West Ham and we lost the FA Cup final to Everton. The decision to take was based primarily on the youth coming through. If you don’t acknowledge and give them their opportunity, there’s a danger they stagnate or they get despondent and they want to move. There’s no way I could allow Butt and Scholes to leave because they, to me, were going to be my midfield of the future and that’s why I let Paul go. We had a great offer for him from Inter Milan — eight million, a big offer — and we decided to let him go. But that gave an opportunity for the young kids to come through and they were fantastic.