“That was a very low point for myself in how everything played out,” explained former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam.
bet365 has launched its debut episode of Full Circle, where Adam Catterall was joined by Stam who dissected his career, revealing the greatest defensive partnership he had and that famous night in 1999.
On leaving United, Stam continued: “The book deal of course was a big part of that. But you need to make decisions for yourself as a player as well, because I could have stayed of course, I could have said to the club that I don’t want to leave. I still have a contract over here.
“I’m enjoying my time. Eventually, I might play again, but the manager at that time went with different players, brought in Laurent Blanc at that time, and he wanted him to play. That’s what he said to me. With Blanc and Wes Brown, I would be on the bench. And he knew with my mentality, and the type of player I was, that I always wanted to play.”
Reminiscing on how his career started at the Red Devils, Stam stated that it was the “greatest moment” when he joined from PSV Eindhoven.
He added: “To sign for Manchester United and travel over to the UK was a great moment for myself because I had always wanted to join a team in the Premier League, and you’re hoping it’s going to be for Manchester United.
“I could only have dreamt about winning a treble in my first season. After playing throughout that season and winning those trophies, that’s of course the highlight of my career in terms of what I won. That was an amazing season.”
Reflecting on United’s performance under Ten Hag’s debut campaign, the former defender expressed that Champions League qualification is a priority.
“Being in the final of the FA Cup is very positive for him, for the club, for the players as well, and reaching that, of course, so he can win his second trophy, which is very promising,” concluded Stam.
“Hopefully they can achieve that, of course. But very important for United, for ten Hag as well, is ending up in the top four, you know, to get a Champions League spot for next season. I think everybody knows that as well. He knows that himself.”