He has been a regular at the heart of United's defence for years, and despite his age, Rio Ferdinand continues to show that he still has plenty to offer.

Having struggled with back problems in the last season or two, it has been hard for Ferdinand to maintain the superb form that has seen him become one of the best defenders in the Premier League.  

Combine that with the amount of partners he has had at centre-back since the injury to Nemanja Vidic last season, and the 34-year-old has done extremely well, bringing out the best out of the likes of Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling.

But ever since the much publicised John Terry and Anton Ferdinand saga, Ferdinand has been left out of the England squad for what Roy Hodgson described as "footballing reasons".  

Most will believe that these 'reasons' are down to this disagreement between Terry and Anton, and the fear that placing Rio alongside Terry could cause yet more problems.

But with the fantastic form he has shown this season that has helped United stretch their lead at the top of the table to nine points, the question has to be asked - why is he not being considered for an England recall?

The Ferdinand/Terry saga is now old news, and England need to prepare efficiently for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

There are many players that have a great chance of winning a place in the squad for their form this season - Ryan Shawcross being just one possible candidate.

But being in his 30s, and with the vast experience he has at both club and international level, Ferdinand needs to be considered once again.

This season has seen Rio reading the game as well as anyone can - he has always been one step ahead of his rivals and plays a vital role at Old Trafford.  

Now is the time to forget about the past and utilise Ferdinand's experience and ability. With Terry having retired from international football, England are lacking a leader at the back, and Ferdinand fits the bill.


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