Swansea City failing to re-sign Wales midfielder Joe Allen from Liverpool is a “disaster” for the club, says their former striker Dean Saunders.
Allen, 26, has joined Premier League rivals Stoke City for £13m after the Swans’ £8m bid was rejected in June.
Saunders said Allen had been praised by ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for his Euro 2016 displays.
“He never mentioned Aaron Ramsey or Gareth Bale,” said Saunders. “We should have got him back.”
Allen was named in the team of the tournament after helping Wales to the semi-finals in their first major finals appearance in 58 years.
He moved to Liverpool from Swansea in 2012 and had one year left on his contract at Anfield.
Swans chairman Huw Jenkins had suggested the club would match the £13m bid from Stoke, who are managed by former Wales boss Mark Hughes, but his move to the Potters was confirmed on Monday.
“I was speaking to Sir Alex Ferguson and he said, ‘What about Joe Allen’s performances in the Euros? What a player he is’,” Saunders, who won 75 caps for Wales, told BBC Radio Wales Sport.
“It is a disaster for Swansea. Mark Hughes knows him but I am disappointed as a Swansea fan. He is a great player.”
Allen’s former Swansea and Wales team-mate, ex-midfielder Owain Tudur Jones, said Swansea have “missed a trick” by not bringing Allen back to the Liberty Stadium.
“He’s certainly a player that could have added to their squad for years. He would have been a player that they would have got in his prime,” Jones told BBC Radio Wales Sport.
“Joe is a guy who could potentially have come in as a future captain.
“Stoke are a good progressive club with a manager that’s trying to do things the right way. “I would assume the only reason they would sign him is because they want to use him and use him in the middle of that park.
“It’s going to be a good move for him.”