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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has admitted that former Chelsea star Arjen Robben was one of the trickiest wingers he played against during his playing days and wishes the Dutchman had joined United instead.
Robben was rated as a highly rated youngster when he was still a teenager with Groningen, and there were a host of top European clubs keen on signing the winger after he excelled with PSV.
Manchester United were strongly linked with Robben before he joined Chelsea back in 2004, and Ferdinand claims it was because the Dutchman ‘didn’t like the smell’ of the club’s training ground was why he snubbed Old Trafford for Stamford Bridge.
On an Instagram Live on Tuesday, Ferdinand was asked to pick between Robben and Ryan Giggs, both in their prime, and replied: “I’d have to go for Giggys you know. Robben was nasty though, oooh Robben.
“You knew he was going to come back in on his left but the left-back couldn’t deal with it. He’d be saying, ‘I’m going to come in on my left, you’re not gonna stop me’. And they didn’t.
“What a player. Robben was great. We should have signed him at Man United.
“I think he came to the training ground. He walked around and didn’t like the smell and walked off and went Chelsea. I couldn’t believe it man. He would have been great for us.”
Robben went on to win back to back Premier League titles with Chelsea before joining Real Madrid in 2007.