The United legend maintains that his former Argentinian teammate could have been a success at the Red Devils, but was hampered by sharing the midfield with Roy Keane
Rio Ferdinand has insisted that Juan Sebastian Veron could have been a great talent at Manchester United, but struggled during his two years at Old Trafford due to the presence of Roy Keane in midfield.
Veron moved to the Red Devils from Lazio in 2001 for £28.1m – then a record Premier League transfer – and initially looked to have settled in well to the English game.
The Argentinian won the Premier League Player of the Month award for September during his first season after scoring three goals in four games.
However, he struggled to maintain fitness and performance levels and was eventually sold to Chelsea for £15m in 2003.
Juan Sebastian Veron celebrates a goal in 2002 (Image: Daily Mirror)
Despite Verons status as an expensive flop, former team-mate Ferdinand opened up on the talent he saw after joining the Red Devils in 2002.
When asked to pick between Veron and former Real Madrid midfielder Guti on Instagram Live, Ferdinand told his followers: Oh what a good question. Veron or Gutifor the older listeners, older viewers out here, Veron, Sebastian Veron, scored one of the best goals Ive ever seen in training.
The little rabona thing, bang from the halfway line, the whole training session shut down, stopped: Did you just see that, what Juan Sebastians just done there?
He was an unbelievable player, great passer. The only thing I think that killed him was Roy Keane was probably a bit more of a dominant personality and was picking the ball up in his positions.
Ferdinand explained why Veron struggled due to not being the focal point of Uniteds attacks, adding: You have to remember Veron came from Lazio, Parma where he was the main man, the whole game went through him. He came to United, thats what Roy Keane did.
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Keane came and got it off the defenders, passed it through to the midfielders and attackers, and got in positions and was very vocal, like ‘Yeah, give me the ball! Give me the ball!’
And out of respect probably Seba just said, ‘Ill let Roy keep doing that’. But Seba was an amazing talent. I honestly think without Roy Keane there he might have flourished in a Man United shirt.
I think Roy Keane was his problem. And it wasnt Roy Keanes fault, its just that his personality was bigger and more overpowering.