Manchester United take on Leeds United in the Premier League today for the first time in 16 years.

The fixture at Old Trafford stirs up memories of past meetings between the two sides – and former players who have switched between clubs.

While there are some like Lee Sharpe who have gone the other way, taking a step down, it has usually been Leeds’ top stars joining Manchester United.

Eric Cantona remains one of the Premier League’s all-time bargains, while Alan Smith walked out on his boyhood club after Leeds were relegated.

(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand was another, costing Manchester United nearly 30 times the fee paid for Cantona.

Ferdinand has no regrets, and inflamed the old rivalry by revisiting the transfer on social media.

 

When called out for ‘walking out on his club’, Ferdinand made clear it was simply a smart career move.

Ferdinand had already left his boyhood club West Ham for Leeds, so the Yorkshire side knew what they were getting into.

He proved to be the missing defensive piece for Sir Alex Ferguson, with United struggling after selling Jaap Stam and replacing him with an ageing Laurent Blanc.

Ferdinand went on to win the Champions League in a glittering career at Old Trafford, and the Premier League in his first season at the club.

He won the league title six times in all, as well as the League Cup twice. It’s understandable he has no regrets.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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