Paul Scholes' decision to hang up his boots at the end of last season prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to make a desperate search for a man to succeed him at Old Trafford.
After deciding he could no longer live up to the high standards of playing for Manchester United, the debate continues to rage about whether the likes of Tom Cleverley will be able to fill the void left by the man dubbed the most complete midfielder of his generation.
Ferguson had previously insisted only the world's elite could come close to Scholes, which is why his list of potential candidates to bring in over the summer was so small.
But after moves for Wesley Sneijder and Samir Nasri never materialised, the onus has been well and truly put back on the next generation of United stars looking to make the breakthrough.
"I didn't know so many would come through so soon," said the 36-year-old. "Obviously I knew there were a lot of good young players coming through, but for me it was all about how I felt.
"I knew I wouldn't be playing the big games anymore, my legs weren't what they used to be and I didn't want to go on like that.
"But I've been really impressed with Tom Cleverley and the other young players like Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck. They've been brilliant and I'm sure they will go on to be great players for United."
Having taken up a coaching role at the club, helping out Warren Joyce with the reserve and youth players, Scholes is adamant he is happy with the decision he made, and isn't missing the day-to-day life as a full-time professional.
"I don't miss football," he said. "It hasn't been hard to sit on the side, because I know I've had my time and i saw the end coming for some time.
"I know my legs are finished, so it's time for me to sit and watch the new lads coming through. It's their turn now, it's their time."