Rio Ferdinand’s return to Old Trafford as a Queens Park Rangers player on Sunday will make many Manchester United fans feel nostalgic.
The former England international defender was one of the key figures for the Red Devils in the last 12 years and helped them win a number of titles.
The 35-year-old centre-back became a free agent in the summer when his contract with United ran out, and he eventually joined QPR.
Fellow centre-back Nemanja Vidic also left United at the end of last season, moving to Italian club Inter Milan.
United have not replaced the duo by signing two top-class central defenders - and this is their main problem, according to Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
The ex-Reds star believes that Ferdinand’s and Vidic’s time at Old Trafford had come to an end, but is amazed that United did not make any attempts to replace them.
‘Someone like Rio Ferdinand has such class and experience you’d always want him in your squad, but he’s come to the end of his time with Manchester United’, the 36-year-old told Sky Sports.
‘Rio and Nemanja Vidic have been great servants to the club but they had to move on. I don’t think it’s so much of a problem that Rio is not at United anymore, I think it’s more that they haven’t replaced him’.
Ferdinand at 35 and Vidic at 32 are both heading towards the final years of their respective careers and are past their best.
The duo needed to have been replaced at some point, and perhaps it would have been better for United had they done so this summer.
True, manager Louis van Gaal has signed Marcos Rojo who can play at centre-back, while Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Tyler Blackett are the recognised central defenders in the Manchester outfit’s squad.
But will that be enough for United for the entire season to finish in the top four of the Premier League?
Only time will tell.