Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Roy Keane’s presence was the reason Juan Sebastian Veron flopped at Old Trafford.
Veron arrived at the Premier League giants from Lazio in 2001 for £28.1m, the most expensive transfer in English football at that time.
Understandably, there was plenty of expectation on the Argentine midfielder’s shoulders, though he struggled to live up to those hopes.
He lasted just two seasons at United, scoring seven league goals in the process before a similarly poor spell at Chelsea.
And though Veron had the talent at United, stopping training one day with his sublime skill, Ferdinand believes it was the presence of fellow midfielder Keane that meant the Argentine struggled.
Speaking on Instagram Live on Tuesday, Ferdinand recalled: “Sebastian Veron scored one of the best goals I’ve ever seen in training.
“The rabona. Bang. From the halfway line. The whole training session shut down. Stopped.
“’Did you just see that?’ ‘What’s Sebastian Veron just done?’. He was an unbelievable player. Great passer.
“Only thing that I think killed him was Roy Keane was a bit more of a dominant personality and was picking the ball up in his positions.
“You have to remember Veron came from Lazio, Parma, where he was the main man – the whole game went through him. That’s what Roy Keane done.
“Picked the ball up from the defenders passed to the midfielders and attackers and was very vocal.
“Out of respect I think Seb just let Keane keep doing it. But Seb was an amazing talent.
“I honestly think without Roy Keane there, he might have flourished in a Man United shirt. Keane was his problem.
“It wasn’t Roy Keane’s fault it was just that his personality was bigger and more overpowering.”
Following his spell at Chelsea, Veron returned to Italy with Inter Milan on loan before spending his final years in his native Argentina with Estudiantes.