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Juan Sebastian Veron is a player who divides opinion among Premier League fans.
The Argentine joined Manchester United in the summer of 2001 from Lazio for £28million, which at the time made him the most expensive footballer in English history.
His career at Old Trafford started well, with Veron being named the Premier League’s Player of the Month for September after scoring three goals in four games.
But he would not reach those heights again in a United shirt, with the midfielder struggling to adapt to the Premier League before being sold by Chelsea.
Veron’s move to United is now considered to be one of the biggest flops in the club’s history, but his struggles with the Red Devils may not have been all of his own making.
Rio Ferdinand played alongside Veron at United for a year and has since revealed his belief that he would have been a success but for Roy Keane.
The former defender believes that Keane’s dominant personality and his similar position to Veron ultimately led to the failure of the latter’s move.
“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 said on Instagram last year.
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“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, that’s what Roy Keane did.
“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, ‘I’ll let Roy keep doing that’. 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 wasn’t Roy Keane’s fault, it’s just that his personality was bigger and more overpowering.”
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Keane himself has also admitted that he was too hard on Veron and did not fully appreciate the difficulty of adapting to the Premier League for foreign players.
“I wish now I had been a bit easier on some of the foreign lads who came to United,” Keane told the Sunday Times.
“I always thought, 'You're on the pitch now – do it'. I regret that now. I was very hard on Seba and I was wrong.
“When he came, I was expecting miracles. When they didn't happen, I was always homing in on him and I now know it takes time.”
- Premier League
- Rio Ferdinand
- Manchester United FC
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