Usually selling a player to your fiercest rivals would be considered a controversial decision at best, and an absolute travesty at worst.
Think of the outrage at Tottenham when Sol Campbell went to Arsenal, Fergie’s insistence on keeping Heinze away from Liverpool, the stick Lampard gets (ok, that’s a different story, but still), the stick Figo got or the nation-wide (worldwide) abuse Ashley Cole gets (you might think he deserves it, but if he’d stayed it’s hard to think that it would be the same).
But after 9 years of seeing Silvestre float in and out of the Manchester United lineup, and especially after the club have won back-to-back league titles and the Champions League on top of it without a significant contribution from the defender, the only reaction that you’ll get from most United fans is ‘meh’….
Silly has been the butt of many jokes in the past but the truth is that he’s an experienced, talented, fast and dependable defender who can be the crucial squad player or first-team starter, depending on what level the football is being played. Like David James and Sol Campbell, staying out of the spotlight could help him grow and improve, which is why a move out to France or to a non-big 4 team made sense earlier this summer (we’ve been hankering for Fergie to sell him for ages now).
Manchester City would be good for him. Sunderland would have been absolutely fantastic. Arsenal? Bite. Wenger’s. Hand. Off. He could be the bargain of the season, but at United his time’s up.