Imagine flopping not once, but twice. Now imagine being Juan Sebastian Veron at Chelsea.
Moving to a new country and competition is never easy. Heck, even without a huge price tag like Juan Sebastian Veron’s looming over his head, it is tough.
The Premier League demands an intensive and quality level of football very few are prepared for when they make the ‘dream’ switch, much in the same way the chubby kid at school could probably take part in a charity fun run but not complete a military grade assault course.
Things really should have worked out far better than they did for Veron. He had bossed the Italian top flight with Parma and Lazio, winning three Coppa Italia trophies, the UEFA Cup and a Serie A title in the process, and had established himself as one of the finest talents the league had to offer during what many might consider its golden-era.
However, after a botched big-money move to Manchester United in 2001, where he fell way short of expectations, it became obvious that maybe England and the Premier League was not going to be as fruitful as its little friend was over in the sunny Mediterranean.
Not that such a minor detail deterred then manager Claudio Ranieri.
Like a confused and excited lottery winner who wasted their newfound fortune on swimming pools, unicorns, chocolate eggs and other such useless items, Claudio Ranieri splashed Abramovich’s cash on bad footballers, and in 2003 Veron completed a £15million move from Manchester United to Stamford Bridge despite his agent revealing that “it was not his intention to leave the club”.
Ah, yes. A player not wanting to leave to their new club – always a promising sign.
There is very little that can be said about Veron’s time at Chelsea. Whether he was mourning the loss of his United career or just plain bad, we do not know, but whatever it was, it crippled his ability. He looked sluggish in possession, provided just a single Premier goal and assists, and generally looked a shadow of the player he once was.
The Argentine signed a four-year contract but only saw five Premier League starts before being shipped off to Inter Milan then Club Estudiantes de La Plata.
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