Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that he would not have sold a brief list of former Red Devils players, had he been at the helm earlier.
The Special One had arrived at Old Trafford at the end of the previous campaign after he replaced Louis van Gaal, who had offloaded the likes of Angel di Maria, Chicharito and Danny Welbeck during his reign.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Portuguese coach feels that he found the club in a sad state in the summer having previously cashed in on players whom he would have kept at the club.
“When I first arrived, I found a sad club. Manchester United sold players that I never would have sold, and bought players I never would have bought,” Mourinho told BBC Sport.
“I would never have sold Di Maria, Chicharito or Danny Welbeck, never, no chance.”
Di Maria and Chicharito left for Paris Saint-Germain and Bayer Leverkusen respectively in the summer of 2015, and have since evolved into key players for their clubs.
On the other hand, Welbeck, who joined rivals Arsenal in 2014, has been marred by long-term injuries but has nevertheless been a success whenever on the playing field.
Manchester United qualified for the quarter-final stage of the Europa League after they clinched a 2-1 aggregate victory over Russian side Rostov in the Round of 16.