Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has outlined that he believes midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron would have been a success at Old Trafford had Roy Keane not been there.
The Argentine joined United in 2001 for a then British record of 28.1 million and despite initially thriving he failed to adapt to the speed and intensity of the Premier League in his two seasons at the club.
Veron would eventually move on to Chelsea where he would play just seven times in the league before heading back to Italy after a disappointing spell in England.
One of the midfielder’s former teammates, Rio Ferdinand believes that Veron may have struggled due to Keane picking up similar positions as him in the middle of the park and being a more dominant personality than the Argentine.
“He was an unbelievable player, great passer,” said Ferdinand in an Instagram live post on Tuesday.
“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.
“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’. 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 wasn’t Roy Keane’s fault, it’s just that his personality was bigger and more overpowering.”
Despite this, Ferdinand did praise Veron and when asked about the Argentine and former Real Madrid midfielder Guti, he recalled a goal in training that made everyone take notice of his quality.
“Oh what a good question. Veron or Guti… For the older listeners, older viewers out here, Veron, Sebastian Veron, scored one of the best goals I’ve 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 Sebastian’s just done there?
“He was an unbelievable player, great passer.”