Ray Wilkins has once again blasted Chelsea's decision to sell Nemanja Matic to Manchester United in the summer and does not see a "£34m difference" between Tiemoue Bakayoko and Nathaniel Chalobah, who left the Premier League champions for Watford in order to receive regular game-time.
The Blues' willingness to let Matic ply his trade at Old Trafford was met with some skepticism, with many failing to understand why the title winner would help strengthen a perceived rival.
The Serbia international's performances have helped United leapfrog Chelsea in the Premier League table, but he was on the losing side when he returned to Stamford Bridge on Sunday (5 November) as Antonio Conte's side moved to within a point of Jose Mourinho's men with a 1-0 victory.
Wilkins, who played for both Chelsea and Manchester United during his playing career, was angered by the "disgraceful" sale of Matic who he believes will have a crucial influence on the degree of success that the Red Devils will enjoy this season.
"The selling of Matic to Manchester United as far as I'm concerned was an absolute disgrace, because that should never have happened," Wilkins said on BBC Radio 5 Live, relayed by Goal. "He [Matic] is going to be the difference between Manchester United winning and Manchester United not winning this year."
Chelsea did replace Matic with France international Bakayoko, who has not exactly hit the ground running in his new surroundings. The £40m acquisition was a crucial part of Monaco's Ligue 1 triumph and impressive Champions League campaign last season, but Wilkins does not think he is an upgrade on Matic or even Chalobah, who finally left Chelsea on a permanent basis after being farmed out on loan to six clubs.
"Chalobah went for £6m," Wilkins said. "I can't quite see that at £6m. I don't really see the differential between Bakayoko at £40m and Chalobah at six.
"I can't see £34m difference between the two guys. Chalobah just comes back from the Under-21 European Championships and all of a sudden he is bombed out for £6m. £34m comes in and we sell the best holding midfield player in the country (Matic) to one of our biggest rivals. I can't really see how that happens."