Rio Ferdinand seems to have recovered from his injury problems and is starting to become a regular at the heart of Manchester United's defence once again.
What chance is their of Ferdinand recapturing his place in England's defence? Ferdinand has not only begun to play more often, but his performances have also been very good and consistent. Clearly United's defence are also benefiting from Rio's presence.
True Ferdinand has not got the pace he once had but players do not always need pace as they are able to read a game well and can generally rely on their experience. Jamie Carragher is another example of this.
If England are looking for a leader both on the pitch and in the changing rooms then Rio is the man. England's squad is a very young group and perhaps the addition of Ferdinand will help the whole team out and not just those playing in defence.
Currently England have numerous central defenders whom they could call upon.
Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott are vying for two places. The Manchester United duo of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are also potential central defenders.
Only John Terry, who has retired from the England set up, can rival Ferdinand for his leadership qualities and others will surely benefit from his presence. Currently Lescott is struggling for game time at Manchester City and Phil Jagielka is injured so the temptation to call on Ferdinand must be great for Roy Hodgson.
Ferdinand still has a lot to offer at international level. He can impart a great deal of knowledge which can only help the youngsters in the squad. Yes, he is susceptible to injuries but if used wisely he can be very useful to everyone and he still has the desire to succeed at international level.
Personally I think he should still be in Roy Hodgson's plans but many England managers will prefer to look forward and develop the youngsters, particularly in a year when there are no World Cups or European Championships.
Ferdinand must ensure his performances continue to be impressive so eventually he can no longer be ignored. To do this though he must stay injury free which will be the key.
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