After blowing the opportunity to sign Aaron Ramsey a couple of years ago by sending Gary Neville to meet the youngster, opposed to Arsene Wenger’s tactic of getting a private jet to fly out the player and family to meet him, Sir Alex Ferguson made sure he did things properly when it came to the highly rated defender, Chris Smalling.

Both United and Arsenal had bids accepted for the player Wenger had been chasing for some time, but in the end the Gunners had to settle for Sol Campbell.

Smalling has today revealed that Ferguson helped him realise that United was the best place for him.

“For him to come down the day before a big game was a huge compliment,” said Smalling. “That made it feel incredible. I went up the next day to the Manchester derby and got to meet some of the players afterwards. I went to see the training ground, did the medical, and everyone was very welcoming. When Sir Alex came and met me and I went to go up and visit, I had the gut feeling this was the place for me to continue my football education.”