Rio excited by United arrivals
Rio Ferdinand believes Sir Alex Ferguson's freshening up of the Manchester United squad will ensure plenty more years of success for the club. Blackburn defender Phil Jones, England forward Ashley Young and Spain Under-21 keeper David de Gea have all completed their moves to Old Trafford, making up for the retirement of Edwin van der Sar and last week's departures of John O'Shea and Wes Brown to Sunderland. At least one more new face is anticipated and that will probably be the most significant given Wesley Sneijder, Samir Nasri and Luka Modric are all on Ferguson's radar as potential replacements for Paul Scholes. Ferdinand feels Ferguson is right to freshen things up. "It is just what the club needs," said the former England skipper. "Three of our most experienced players have retired, so the manager has reinforced certain positions on the field. "This club is always evolving. That is what has happened since I have been here. I was part of it. "That is what you aim to do. It is not about your personal feelings. It is about the club becoming better and more stable and continuing the success we have had over the years." At the first press conference of a three-week US tour in Boston on Monday, Ferguson could not resist a little dig at Ferdinand over the advancing years creeping up on him. Now 32, the former West Ham man remains the most expensive defender in United's history. Yet now he faces a new challenge from Jones, who has shown immense promise at Blackburn and joins England Under-21 team-mate Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans in attempting to ease Ferdinand out of a position he has called his own since he arrived at United in 2002. "It is great to see young players," said Ferdinand. "We have some very young players coming through the youth team already, so when the manager adds players of quality like Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David de Gea, it can only improve the squad, increase our longevity and continue our success." Not that Jones and De Gea will be available for Wednesday night's encounter with the New England Revolution at the Gillette Stadium. Jones, like Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley, will not fly out until later this week, joining his new team-mates for the second leg of their tour, a week-long stay in Seattle. De Gea will fly straight to New York for the final two matches of the trip, although they are the most significant, against an MLS All-Stars team containing David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan in New Jersey, and Barcelona, minus Lionel Messi, in Washington on July 30. Yet even a weakened United side should have too much guile for the Revolution, according to their manager, former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol. Nicol knows the game is an important showcase for his side, with the expected crowd of more than 50,000 representing three times the club's average gate. "If they need motivating for this game, whether there is 60,000 or nobody, my players are in the wrong job," said Nicol, who has been at the Revolution for 10 years. Ferguson tried to sign Nicol from Ayr when he was manager of Aberdeen, although the former Liverpool star admits he was in the dark over the proposed transfer at the time. "Had I known, I would probably have gone," Nicol continued. "But I didn't find out until a couple of years later, so I went to Liverpool instead." He added: "It is funny how things turn out. I never expected to be in the MLS but it has been 10 years now and the family love it. "The league is starting to change, though. Teams have been making changes. It is the usual thing, there is more money, more fans and bigger and better players have come into the league. "With that, expectations change. You just have to understand it. That is the norm."
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