Football

Harrison hails evergreen Giggs

Giggs set for United stay. (©GettyImages)
Giggs set for United stay. (©GettyImages).

Eric Harrison believes Ryan Giggs can further embellish his legendary Old Trafford status by becoming only the second Manchester United player to feature for the club in his 40s.

The Welsh wing-wizard celebrated his 38th birthday on Tuesday, just days after making appearance number 887 for the Red Devils in last weekend's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Newcastle.

Giggs has already reached the landmark as United's all-time leading appearance-maker, but if rumours are to be believed, Sir Alex Ferguson is weighing up the pros and cons of offering the midfielder a new one-year deal.

If a new 12-month contract is laid on the table, and Giggs features for the first-team in the 2012-13 campaign - he will become the second oldest player to feature for Manchester United in the club's illustrious history - an achievement that his former youth team mentor, Harrison, feels is well within Giggs' reach.

"Ryan has the dedication, the ability, the physique and mentality to go on," Harrison told the Manchester Evening News. "He is a remarkable man. His pace is still good, although obviously not as electric as it used to be and he is still so fit.

"I have never seen Ryan with his hands on his knees. He is never out of breath it is amazing. Physically he can play into his 40s and he has the football brain to do it as well.

"I can see Giggsy as a holding central midfield player getting the ball off defenders and starting moves from deep."

Giggs will surpass 1950s player and fellow Welshman Jack Warner as the oldest post-War United player, and will then overhaul 1920s Red Frank Mann to move into second place.

It's highly unlikely he will catch 46-year-old Billy Meredith who currently tops the list of the club's eldest statesmen, but reaching the 40-year-old milestone would be a remarkable achievement on its own in the modern day game.

"I think it is 99.9 per cent certain that Ryan's future is at United and he'll be offered a role at the club," Harrison added. "He is doing his coaching badges and I know, for instance, that the English FA say he is a good prospect.

"If the manager were to say to him you can manage the reserves, help coach the first team or whatever and retire as a player I think Giggsy would find that a very difficult decision to make. I think he wants to go on playing for as long as he can."

Topics:
Ryan Giggs
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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