"Chris is a terrific player, he makes goals and scores them," said Coyle in the Daily Mirror.
"Sir Alex was a great help pushing the move through and I sold the idea to Chris when we met. Anybody leaving United is taking a backward step, but he took a rung down the ladder to take two up.
"It was a wrench for him to go, I sat with him for a couple of hours and talked football. We were in the Championship at the time, but he was going to get his opportunity and a platform to show everybody."