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Dutch international: Don't compare me to Manchester United hero

Stefan de Vrij has played down comparisons to Jaap Stam.

Dutch international Stefan de Vrij sealed his transfer to Lazio this week, following in the footsteps of another iconic defender.

The World Cup star had been linked with Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, but his now former Netherlands manager did not make a move.

His switch to Lazio sees him become the club's first Dutch centre-back signed since the surprise addition of Jaap Stam in 2001, which Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted was a mistake.

Stam played three seasons with the club, before signing with AC Milan, and is a tough act for De Vrij to follow.

Understandably, he has moved to distance himself from any direct comparisons or expectations.

He told a press conference upon arrival: "I have great respect for Stam, but I'm rather unique. I do not like to be compared with other players myself."

De Vrij went onto add that he aims for the move to Serie A will improve him as a defender:

"I hope I'm a better player here, more complete."

If the former Feyenoord star does improve further, he may certainly prompt United to have another regret, in not signing him for the bargain price of €9 million.

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