Of all the surprises that this weekend's FA Cup Third Round threw up, seeing the name "Paul Scholes" on Manchester United's substitutes bench was by far the most unexpected.
Despite the club's deepening injury crisis, few predicted that Alex Ferguson would recall the 37 year-old Scholes, who had not played a competitive game since United's 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in last May's Champions League Final and had spent the last few months coaching the club's reserves. He was brought on after 60 minutes in Sunday's Manchester derby between United and City at the Etihad stadium and although him giving the ball away lead to City's second goal, in just half an hour he made 71 passes, more than any City player made over 90 minutes and his experience brought a calming influence to United's midfield.
But Scholes is not the only player to return to his old stomping ground in this year's Third Round. Thierry Henry makes an eagerly awaited return to Arsenal when they host Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium tonight. The Frenchman joined the Gunners from Juventus in the summer of 1999 for £10.5m and went on to become their top scorer of all time, scoring 226 goals in all competitions and leading the club to two Premiership titles and three FA Cups. But Henry has warned fans not to expect too much from him this time around, telling Arsenal Media: "I am not 25 anymore, I am not going to take the ball from the middle of the park and dribble past five or six players."
Scholes and Henry join a long list of players who returned to the clubs where they made their name, with varying results...
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