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Ferdinand welcomes Scholes and Henry back into the Premiership fold

As Premier League veterans Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry return to the top flight Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has welcomed them back. On Sunday, the pair will go head to head at Emirates Stadium, as United head to Arsenal looking to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

"It is great to see two of the best players come back," he said.

"If I was going to name a top-five list of players to have played in the Premier League, Scholes and Henry would be in there.

"It's fantastic for Arsenal, of course, just as it is for us to have Scholes back.

"Hopefully he's going to help us get over the line and win another couple of trophies."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reintroduced Scholes to his squad for the FA Cup tie against City without informing any of his playing staff.

"I spoke to Scholesy a few weeks beforehand and asked him if he was coming back but he doesn't give anything away," he said.

"When he met up with the squad the day before the City game, I asked him again if he was in the squad but he said he was coming to watch as part of the staff.

"I had an inkling he might be back though because he trained the day before with us but it wasn't until the kit man told me before the game that he had brought his gear that I knew for certain."

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Dave Williams

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