Manchester United overlooking Antonio Conte hurt Patrice Evra, who has no doubt his former Juventus boss could have turned things around at Old Trafford.
Conte was linked with United ahead of the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last November, but Ralf Rangnick was given the nod as an interim boss with a view to changing the club from the top down as a consultant at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Rangnick averaged 1.5 points per game and a win percentage of 42 in the Premier League – both of which were record lows in the competition for a Red Devils manager – as United failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Conte ended up at Tottenham instead and steered them from ninth to a top-four finish, leaving Evra to wonder what might have been.
“It hurts my heart because I think Conte, [Jurgen] Klopp, [Pep] Guardiola – all those managers are the best in the world right now and we could have had him at Manchester United,” Evra told The Mirror.
“But some people at the club, they said: ‘It’s not our style, it’s not what we’re looking for.’
“So let’s see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he’s going to do. He has my support. But then, even if you brought a chef in, as the manager of Man United, he’d have my full support.”
“I’m very pleased, I want to say thanks to my players”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 22, 2022
Evra added: “It’s a massive disappointment because he [Conte] could have done something at Man United.
“And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them to qualify for the Champions League spot. They have the same players, so that’s why this manager is a genius.
“When I arrived at Juventus, every player told me: ‘Patrice, this guy is a genius. He’s addicted, he’s so passionate about football. So you’re going to run really hard. He’s going to make you sweat.’
“But if you look at the Tottenham fans, they are so happy because when they see the players now, win or lose, they give everything. That’s the mentality of Antonio Conte.
“That’s why I say it hurts. Not because it’s Tottenham – I love every team – but it’s just because Conte could have done something.”