Still plenty of experience in the United ranks

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Football News

Rio Ferdinand is confident that Manchester United remain well equipped to challenge for their 20th domestic title next season, despite the recent retirement of a number of Old Trafford heroes.

Gary Neville's decision to hang up his boots midway through the 2010-11 campaign was followed at the end of the season by Edwin Van der Sar and Paul Scholes - with the latter calling time on a 17-year career with the Red Devils.

After losing three of their most senior figures at the club in the space of just six months, Sir Alex Ferguson has moved quickly in the transfer market to strengthen his ranks, with the additions of David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young.

Whilst their arrivals bring with them undoubted excitement, and so much future promise, Ferdinand pointed towards the number of established, older heads in the United dressing room that he believes will be the key catalyst in bringing more success in 2011-12.

"I don't agree we lack experience," the England defender told Sky Sports News at Niketown in Seattle. "We have other players who can step into those holes.


"You have people like myself, Vida (Nemanja Vidic), Park Ji-sung, Patrice Evra, Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney. I could go on.

"Players who have been here for five or six years and, in that period, played in top games consistently. That counts for a lot of experience and nous about what it takes to win the league."

Despite Ferdinand's confidence in the existing crop of players, United have been heavily linked with a move for another player, Wesley Sneijder, as Ferguson continues his search for a natural successor to the void left by Scholes.

He has already moved to free up more space in his constantly evolving squad ,and on the Red Devils' wage bill, with the release of Owen Hargreaves and the sale of Wes Brown and John O'Shea to Sunderland.

But Ferdinand intimated it was pointless trying to find a replacement of Scholes' stature, saying that United have what it takes to tweak their playing style and, by doing so the man to assume that role may already be within their midst.

"I have always said it, Paul Scholes is my favourite player," he continued. "He is one of the top two players I have ever played with and I thought he could have gone on for a couple more years. But it is his decision to stop and you have to respect that.

"When people like Roy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy left [though], we didn't go like-for-like in replacements. We got different players who had a great impact, and we already have players in the squad who have the potential to do that."

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Premier League
Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand

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