One great leaves Man Utd… and one returns
Exit of Ji-Sung Park is tempered with the return of Nemanja Vidic
One Manchester United doyen returns to bring great hope and much-needed stability to the dethroned champions’ back four.
Another United doyen leaves and could return… to hurt the Red Devils in the upcoming season in the colours of Queen Park Rangers.
Ji-Sung Park seemed the kind of player that would end his career at Old Trafford.
What has happened is that he has had his career ended there by a trophy-less season and thanks in no small part to the trophies at Manchester City and Chelsea.
Park has insisted that it was his decision to quit Manchester United and brought his seven-year stay at Old Trafford by sealing a £5 million switch to Mark Hughes’ side at Loftus Road.
That Park has the experience – four Premier League titles and a Champions League title – to hurt United may not be lost on Sir Alex Ferguson.
The loss of Park may be offset by the return of the colossus-like figure that is Nemanja Vidic.
Would United have thrown away the lead against Everton if Vidic was on the field last season? Probably not.
While United had all the attacking nous and the goals to win the league last season, they did not defend well enough. Sometimes, not at all.
Vidic has returned to full training but will not travel with the rest of the United squad on their pre-season tour of South Africa and China.
The central defender is expected to return to match action when United play pre-season friendlies in Norway and Sweden in early August.
With no disrespect to Jonny Evans who came on strongly towards the end of the season, the void left by Vidic was just too big.
Fergie will need a workhorse like player with lethal focus and dogged determination to fill the void left by Park.
Of his leaving Park said: “I was the one who said it to Manchester United.
“But last season I didn’t play as much. I would still have had a good chance to play for Man United but QPR made me a very good offer and their ambitions and plans were interesting for me.”