Chris Smalling: Widely regarded as the heir to Ferdinand’s throne, the former Maidstone and Fulham man is one of England’s most exciting prospects. Mixing composure and control, his defensive style would complement those adopted by Messrs Vidic, Evans and Jones.
Michael Keane: Following a handful of first team cameos last season, the hugely talented youngster enjoyed a successful loan spell with Championship club Leicester City – earning a nomination for their Player of the Year award. His development will be fascinating this coming season.
Scott Wootton: Similarly to Keane, this powerful defender made positive strides last term and clocked up four appearances for Sir Alex’s men, including two in the UEFA Champions League. Injury hampered a loan spell at Peterborough, yet his talent remains unquestioned and he’s a prospect for the future.