Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes revealed how the signings of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic left the dressing room ‘concerned’.
“To say the dressing room at United was concerned about the suitability of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic when they arrived would be an understatement”, he said.
Scholes revealed in his Independent column that the French full back, Patrice Evra was more like a ‘jockey’ as compared to a footballer, when he arrived.
“My abiding memory is of City targeting Patrice. I don’t blame them, we would have done the same.
“They struck long diagonals out to our left and every time Trevor Sinclair would attack the ball, smash Patrice out of the way and City would be in behind us.
“When Patrice first arrived, we used to wonder whether the manager had signed a jockey, rather than a footballer. There was hardly anything of him”.
Further he also stated that former captain, Nemanja Vidic was a soft young defender, who was easily pushed of the ball and was battered in training.
“It might surprise you to hear that Nemanja, who arrived from Spartak Moscow, was not the powerful centre-back he became over his years with the club,” Scholes added.
“There was nothing of him when he arrived. He was skinny and relatively easy to push off the ball. Like Patrice, he took a battering in his first few weeks at the club – in training as well as matches”.
Evra and Vidic, who went on to become club captains later, started in 3 Champions League finals for the Red Devils. According to Scholes, both players showed incredible improvement and character as days progressed and established themselves as invaluable assets for the club.
Speaking about Evra, Scholes reflected on the Frenchman’s growth and character at United.
“Gradually, however, Evra’s personality emerged. This was one tough player, who was determined that he was not going to be brushed aside and become one of the forgotten men at United. He stuck out his chest and got on with it”.
Scholes also outlined the immense efforts Vidic had put in to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the world.
“For the next year, every time I walked past the gym, I would see Nemanja in there lifting weights. He turned himself into a big, strong centre-half who was capable of knocking strikers out of the way.
“He always had a great ability to head the ball, but allied with his strength he became unbeatable in the air. Throughout his United career, we would play away at difficult grounds and it would be Nemanja heading crosses and set pieces when the team were under pressure.”