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Paul Scholes explains why Juan Sebastian Veron was a "disaster" at Man Utd, 23 September 2022, 07:14
Juan Sebastian Veron arrived at Manchester United for a British record transfer fee in the summer of 2001 but failed to play his best football under Sir Alex Ferguson Juan Sebastian Veron joined Manchester United in July 2001

Paul Scholes believes Juan Sebastian Veron didn't flourish at Manchester United due to their attacking similarities.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously signed Veron, then 26, from Lazio for £28.1million in July, 2001. That was the most expensive transfer in English football in history, a record that was surpassed 12 months later when United signed Rio Ferdinand from Leeds for £29.1m.

Veron was was regarded as one of the best central midfielders in Europe at the time. The Argentina international had just completed five successful seasons in Italy with Sampdoria, Parma and Lazio - winning six trophies, including the Serie A title and the UEFA Cup.

Veron's time at United started well - winning the Premier League Player of the Month award in September 2001 - but form and fitness hampered his progress. He was sold to Chelsea two years later for £15m, but he did win the Premier League title before leaving.

Scholes thinks Veron struggled at United because they couldn't play alongside each other in central midfield. The Englishman was the lynchpin of Ferguson's midfield for a large part of his 26-and-a-half-year reign, winning 11 Premier League titles together.

Although Scholes was known for being a tough tackler and could play in a deeper role, he didn't have the defensive nous needed to guard the back four. He played his best football alongside the likes of Nicky Butt, Roy Keane and Michael Carrick.

Do you remember Juan Sebastian Veron's time at Manchester United? Let us know in the comments below!

"It didn't really matter to me [who I played alongside]," Scholes told Gary Neville on the latest episode of The Overlap. "I played with Nicky, I played with Roy - Michael Carrick. I loved playing with all of them. It wasn't great playing with people who - attacking people - I needed someone who played that [defensive midfield] position really well."

At which point, Neville asked: "Someone like Veron, you mean?"

Scholes replied: "Yeah, me and Veron were a disaster. I think me and Anderson did it once - just, no, it's not working, is it? [laughs] Just two lads who don't care about defending - don't know the [DM] position that well. But it worked better with a Michael or a Roy or a Nicky, who were brilliant playing a position they knew.

"I didn't know the position that well - I didn't play in the position that well, as you know. You were always be moaning 'stay with your runners' and stuff. [I'd reply] 'f***** you get them! You can see them, can't you?' I had to play with somebody who was disciplined."

Ferguson famously defended his decision to sign Veron in May 2002, just a day before United lost their Premier League crown to rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford. "He [Veron] is a f****** great player," Ferguson told journalists. "And you're all f****** idiots."

Veron continued to have a great career after leaving England, winning four trophies at Inter Milan - including another Serie A title - and the Copa Liberatores with Estudiantes. He continued to play for Argentina until 2010, earning 72 senior caps.

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