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Jaap Stam snubs former Man Utd players, including Nemanja Vidic, when naming his dream centre-back partner

Jaap Stam snubs former Man Utd players, including Nemanja Vidic, when naming his dream centre-back partner

The Dutch defender was given ten Premier League greats to choose from when picking his dream centre-back partner.

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam was asked to pick his dream centre-back partner from of a host of Premier League greats in the latest episode of The Overlap.

Stam, who became the most expensive defender in history when he joined United from PSV in 1998 for £10.6 million, would lift three Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.

He would also help them win the Champions League in 1999 but was sold to Lazio in 2001 for a reported £15.3 million.

Ferguson would later brand the departure of Stam as one of his biggest regrets. "When I think of disappointments, obviously Jaap Stam was always a disappointment to me," he told MUTV back in 2013. "I made a bad decision there."

A decade later and Stam was asked to choose a centre-back partner out of ten Premier League greats, including Vincent Kompany, John Terry, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Steve Bruce, Tony Adams and Virgil van Dijk.

The 51-year-old defender soon batted off the question to his fellow guests. "It's better if you guys pick one for me," he said on the latest episode of Gary Neville’s podcast, Stick to Football, brought to you by Sky Bet.

Arsenal great Ian Wright made his feelings clear on the matter.

"If I had Jaap Stam, I would have Tony Adams next to him," Wright said. "Not just because he was my captain, but with Jaap’s capability; his size, pace and footballing ability, with someone like Tony next to him, it would be formidable.”

Roy Keane agreed that Tony Adams would be the perfect centre-back partner for Stam, while Jamie Carragher went for John Terry and Virgil van Dijk.

Stam's former teammate Gary Neville also picked Terry but what about the man himself?

"I’d keep it Dutch, I’d play alongside Virgil van Dijk. It would be a good partnership," Stam said. "I like the others [Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and John Terry], but Virgil is a very good player.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Speaking about his much-talked about departure from Manchester United, Stam gave his version of events, featuring a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson at a petrol station.

"I soon realised the club wanted to get rid of me. They also needed the money. Very soon the book became an issue again," he said.

"It led to a conflict between me and the manager. One morning I told him what I thought and left the training ground on the spot. On the way home I received a phone call in my car from Fergie’s secretary.

"She said that he wanted to speak to me. He came on the phone straightaway.

"Ferguson said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'Close to my house, at a petrol station.' 'Ferguson said, 'Wait there!' He jumped in his car and came straight to me."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Stam added: "At the petrol station he parked his car and got in with me. He told me that I had to be transferred. Then he said, 'Will you please move to Lazio quickly?'

"I agreed to do it. Right there and then. One quick conversation in my car at a petrol station in Manchester was enough for me to leave that big club.

"When I think about it now, and I have never talked about it before, I find it unbelievable I let that, as a player, happen to me."

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/The Overlap

Topics: Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Virgil Van Dijk, John Terry, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Ian Wright, Roy Keane