Paul Scholes makes honest admission on why playing alongside Juan Sebastian Veron was ‘disaster’ at Manchester United
Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron played alongside each other in Manchester United’s midfield following the Argentine’s move to Old Trafford in 2001. Reflecting on their time together, the former England star has opened up on why their partnership at the centre of the pitch was a disaster.
Veron was one of the finest midfielders in Europe when Sir Alex Ferguson signed him for United from Serie A outfit Lazio. His transfer fee of £28.1 million was a record transfer in English football at the time.
A lot was expected from the South American when he landed at Old Trafford, but he failed to live up to expectations and left after two unsuccessful seasons.
Reflecting on their ‘disastrous’ partnership in midfield, Scholes has explained that the two of them couldn’t thrive alongside each other, as they were both attack-oriented and had almost nothing to offer defensively.
“It didn’t really matter to me (who I played alongside),” the Manchester United legend told Gary Neville on 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.”
“Someone like Veron, you mean?”
Scholes replied in the negative, saying:
“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.”
Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron’s numbers for Manchester United￼
During his two-year stint at Manchester United, Juan Sebastian Veron made 82 appearances across competitions, recording 11 goals and 15 assists. He left the Red Devils for Chelsea in the summer of 2003 in a deal worth €21 million.
Paul Scholes, meanwhile, went on to spend his entire career with the Premier League giants and established himself as a club legend. He recorded 153 goals and 75 assists for Manchester United in 714 appearances across all fronts.