Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed the impact of Nemanja Vidic as he celebrates his fifth anniversary at Manchester United.
Vidic arrived at Old Trafford as a relative unknown from Spartak Moscow for around £7million in January 2006 and has proved to be a great piece of business for the United manager.
Ferguson raised a few eyebrows this season by handing the Serbian defender the captain's armband ahead of club-mate and England captain Rio Ferdinand.
The 29-year-old joined the club at the same time as another defender, Patrice Evra, a player who has also gone on to become a United mainstay.
"He and Patrice found it difficult to settle in the first six months and it took them a while. That happens to some players coming into the English game," Ferguson told the Sun.
"But Nemanja is a warrior, he's a natural defender and he loves defending.
"There have been a few defenders like him over the years and, when the ball comes into the penalty box, you know that the one who wants to get it clear will be Nemanja."
Five years after a shaky start to his United career, Vidic is now a model of consistency in the Reds defence, none more so than during Sunday's 0-0 draw at Tottenham.
"Nemanja was so powerful and positive in everything he went for. Tottenham didn't get any shots on goal really. We handled it really well, all the things they could throw at us," added Ferguson.
"He has been a great signing. I can't remember what we paid for him, but whatever it was, he was cheap."