Paul Scholes looked like he'd never been away when he took to the field against Manchester City last weekend.
His rhythmic passing soon allowed Manchester United to halt their neighbours' comeback and eventually see out a win built on the foundations of their Wayne Rooney-inspired first-half display.
Alongside the improving Michael Carrick, the pair, when on their game, possess a passing range that could match Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, one that even City, for all their riches, aren't able to currently match.
The re-signing of Scholes could eventually prove to be the club's trump card in their quest for the Premier League title. Like David Silva, Scholes can unlock even the sternest of defences in the blink of an eye. With over 600 appearances to his name, he provides United with a boost of experience, with Edwin van der Sar having departed in the summer.
However, the short terms positives don't outweigh the long terms problems, that are masked by the return of 'sat nave'.
In the summer, Ryan Giggs said the former England international would never been replaced at Old Trafford and that the club had to move on.
"Will you get another Paul Scholes?' Giggs said. 'No. Never. Not in a million years.
United are in danger of taking the Welshman's advice too literally.
While few United supporters would plead for Sir Alex Ferguson to delve into the transfer market and panic buy their way to the title, some evidence the club are at least attempting to break away from the old guard would be encouraging for future seasons.
The reality is that United appear unwilling to part from that golden era and while the short-term solution may result in more success this season, the refusal to replace those experienced players and the lack of faith in the current squad is an alarming revelation.
With Darren Fletcher likely to be out for the season, United are left with four out-and-out central midfielders; Michael Carrick, Anderson, the soon to return Tom Cleverley and Giggs.
Park Ji-Sung, Phil Jones and Darron Gibson are additionally in reserve meaning United are hardly short of numbers; bar Cleverley, all are currently available for selection.
The early season emergence of Cleverley appeared to make United's decision not to sign Wesley Sneijder last summer a good one. Why the ethos has been abandoned just six months down the line is a worry.
Ferguson has at least brought himself some time ahead of the summer transfer window, but United fans would be right to worry where the Scot's lack of faith in the market and his current team leaves the club.