Has it really come to this? Rio Ferdinand may have defended poorly against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United do have three defenders out injured, but did Sir Alex Ferguson really need to return to Mikael Silvestre?

Well, no, as it happens. The Frenchman, who signed for United for £4.5m from Internazionale in 1999, is merely training with his former club to maintain his fitness as he bids to join a new club.

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Back at Carrington: Silvestretrains with United ahead of their second Champions League group game

The 40-times capped former France international was released by Werder Bremen in the summer and has also been training with Arsenal at their London Colney training base, having played for the Gunners between 2008 and 2010.

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Silvestre is put through his paces

Before he was sold to Arsenal on transfer deadline day four years ago, Silvestre made 366 appearances for United, scoring 10 goals.

He won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a Champions League winners' medal during his nine years at Old Trafford.