United’s man for all seasons can be the perfect bridge for new boss Moyes as he looks to a coaching career himself.
This may well prove to be Ryan Giggs’ final campaign as a player. But the Welshman’s influence at Old Trafford cannot be underestimated as the club faces up to life after Sir Alex Ferguson.
Although Giggs – who turns 40 in November – is set to play an increasingly peripheral role on the pitch, he will be vital to United’s hopes of a smooth transition under David Moyes.
It was notable that Giggs was the only player included in Ferguson’s meeting with his successor in May, shortly after it was confirmed that Moyes would take over the reigns of the Premier League champions.
As the only ever-present of Ferguson’s 13 league titles at United, he is among the most respected figures in the dressing room.
The 39-year-old will be a crucial conduit between the new manager and the existing players – particularly following the departures of coaches Mike Phelan and Eric Steele.
United were always determined to ensure there would be continuity following Ferguson’s exit, but with Moyes set to bring in his own backroom team, the roles of senior players like Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick will be even more important.
For all the positive noises made about Moyes’ arrival – with the players universally agreeing that they are looking forward to working with him – there can be no disguising the fact that he is entering a club full of seasoned champions.
They have been successful doing things the Ferguson way – with young players and new arrivals following the examples of legends like Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.
Moyes’ achievements at Everton are understandably respected and Ferguson was quick to urge patience among fans towards his successor. But the Scot is guaranteed to come under pressure if he is not able to hit the ground running.
And a fixture list that includes Chelsea, Liverpool and City in his first five games means he will have no time to find his feet.
Common sense dictates he should not be judged after his first month in charge – either way.
But common sense is an increasingly rare commodity in modern-day football – and it is only human nature that players who have tasted success by doing things one way, will question any methods that don’t appear to garner the same results.
That is where players like Giggs will be so crucial for Moyes.
The most decorated player in the history of the English game hasn’t always known success.
He is experienced enough to know that sometimes it is necessary to take one step back in order to take two forward.
He was part of the squad initially labelled as chokers when losing the title to Leeds in 1992, only to come back to win back-to-back Premier Leagues and the club’s first double in 1994.
Giggs listened to Alan Hansen’s verdict that you ‘never win anything with kids’ when Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis made way for David Beckham et al – only to go on and win the lot, including the Treble in 99.
He watched Ferguson build again at a time when the United manager was written off in some quarters and deemed incapable of rising to the challenge of first Arsene Wenger’s Invicibles and then Jose Mourinho’s Roman Abramovich-funded empire.
Out went Roy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy as Ferguson built arguably his greatest-ever side around Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Of United’s current squad, only Ferdinand can share Giggs’ experience of having to build again.
Even Carrick, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra have known virtually non-stop success, arriving as Ferguson was building the nucleus of a squad that would win five more titles and the Champions League.
Rooney joined in 2004, but was again part of Ferguson’s rebuilding following the title triumph a year earlier. Moyes, United’s board and the club’s shareholders will be hoping for a seamless transition between old manager and new – but nothing can be guaranteed.
Ferguson left behind a squad capable of winning the title by an 11-point margin, with a number of players who are still to reach their peak.
The club are also willing to back Moyes in the transfer market and give him the funds to hold off the challenges of City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Cristiano Ronaldo would add a considerable spike to the morale of supporters, while Thiago Alcantara suggests Moyes will be true to the ethos of a club that wants to develop the very best emerging talent.
The number of midfielders being targeted, combined with the presence of Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa, points to the limited opportunities Giggs will get next season.
And pictures of him studying for his final UEFA Pro Licence coaching badge exams this week prove he is thinking about the next stage of his career.
There is a belief within the club that he could one day become United manager, but even he is still to make his mind up about his future.
A coaching role looks likely in the short term – but before that, perhaps a type of unofficial player liaison as Moyes steps into the Red spotlight.