Date: 24th June 2011 at 1:30am
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Paul Scholes goal against Barcelona

The Ginger Prince shows Barcelona who's boss in 2008

The transfer window will always bring the over-hyped gossip, however with the sad but inevitable retirement of Paul Scholes there has been extra speculation surrounding United.

Will there be a replacement for the midfield maestro?

The first name linked was that of Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder is a player who has usually taken up a more attacking role than Scholes did. Scholes would sit in the centre of midfield and dictate the play through his passing. This made Scholes a key component in the United team. Fans would spend large parts of matches with the thought ‘give it to Scholes’ running through their heads, knowing his vision would pick out a pass no one else could see, or at the least fire a shoot to challenge the keeper.

Whilst Sneijder is an exciting prospect for the United line-up he would not quite be a Scholes replacement. I’m not too sure whether, like Scholes fitted so well into, Sneijder could play in a simple midfield two. His typical role is to play ahead of the midfielders and behind the strikers, this could either see him playing as a frustrated centre midfielder or an attacking midfielder with a gap left behind him. This is why I am not sure he will end up at Old Trafford next season. Even if Sneijder does come to United he would not quite play an exact Scholes role.

The next ‘Scholes replacement’ lined up was Luka Modric. Again another exciting prospect with great passing and playmaking abilities. Whilst I think Modric could sit in a centre two more than Sneijder I still don’t think he will be arriving this Summer. The news that Chelsea had a bid rejected was not followed by news of United making a bid, and so it may be possible United did not value him quite so high. Modric has also expressed his wish to stay in London and so presumably ruling out a move to United.

One possibility, of which I have already seen many strong views from United fans, is that of Charlie Adam. Whether he played for a club who was relegated last season or not he did have a great passing ability and had Blackpool stayed up would have been the hero. Whilst at United he would no longer be a big fish in a small pond and may not out shine teammates as he did at Blackpool this may not be what United need. Adam would presumably be a squad player at United who could offer a different perspective to the midfield.

In my last article ( I wrote about the possibility of Rafael and Fabio being used as secondary attackers in a Barcelona-esque play. In this instance there may be no need for a Scholes style player. A more defensive player such as Lassana Diarra may be the favoured option allowing the attacking wingers and full backs more freedom when going forward.

Adam could be a useful squad player who could provide the attacking passing as Scholes did if needed. If SAF does opt to move for Adam then he would provide the option of bringing him on off the bench to change United’s style of play and give them options to attack from another area of the pitch.

I don’t really believe Ferguson is looking for a replacement for Paul Scholes, we also have to remember it has been a while since Scholes was a permanent fixture in the United midfield. The team is in a period of transition and rather than comparing the new players to the old I think Ferguson is looking towards a new style of team. If the big money is spent on Sneijder then this would be an exciting prospect but would not be a replacement for the Scholes role. However if this was not the case and Adam came in this would allow versatility in the team and the ability to change the focus of attack.

I do not think any new centre midfield arrival, if there is one, should be compared to Scholes. A new United team is evolving and we were lucky to be able to enjoy Scholes with him playing his whole career at United but now it appears it is time to move on with a new midfield set up.

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28 responses to “Why Fergie Isn’t Looking To Replace Paul Scholes”

  1. K Pilks says:

    …because one trick ponies like scholes and beckham dont really cut it anymore in modern football.

  2. richard says:

    Beckham maybe , but Scholes, a one trick pony, surely you jest. There hasn’t been an English player that comes close to Scholes in decades. In fact Scholes has been one of the top players in Europe for quite a while. Pilks-get off the crack pipe!

  3. Marching Red says:

    @K Pilks
    While I completely disagree with your assessment of Scholes… if by “one trick” you meant “best passing ability in the world”, I’d want such a player on my team any day.

  4. Jack says:

    you cant replace Scholes as there isnt another player who is packaged like him.

    personally i would probably buy too many players lol and thats down to the fact our central midfield is a mess.

    playing time wise Gibson and Scholes will leave a gap and i feel a move for Adam would be a good solution

    Carrick are times looks great but can get lost in games and struggles to offer enough, so i would sell him and replace him with Parker.

    I would then try and add De Rossi to the ranks.

    Snejider would be great too and there might be room for him 😉 but he is more likely to push Rooney or Hernandez out of the team.

    it would be interesting to see if Snejider could work in a 2 man next to Fletcher or De Rossi in the league.

    k i sound like i am on cloud cuckoo land but our central midfield as bugged me for ages and we tend to use/need a big squad. Plus even with all that change we only end up with one extra guy who could be used as a second striker.

  5. BlueDew 88 says:

    I am of the proposal of grooming one of our youngsters into the next midfield sensation. We have a backup in giggs who did excellent in the central mid for me and I’m a huge fan of Cleverly and Pogba. Paul for Paul i say

    • Jack says:

      I think Fergie is waiting for Paul Pog to get there, then he will become the new midfield lynch pin

    • Tom Daniel says:

      It would be nice to Pogba get a few appearances or a loan move next season.

  6. Khaleed says:

    I blive SAF has to go for Luka Modric.., at least 70% of his pass u can compare him our Leagend P.Scholes

  7. John Tring says:

    SAF had made a few glaring mistakes lately in transfer market. All these Sneijders, Van D Vs, Modrices and the like were going for peanuts but we did nothing. So, wasn’t it clear that Utd were embarrassed by Barca repeatedly because we didn’t have a decent CM player to try and pass a few decent balls? Premier league is not really a proper test. How many ex or current World Player of the Year is/are in the Prem Lge? Zero. So, the gulf is widening. There is no one except a slight possibilty of Rooney being in the running for the Ballon D’or in near future. So, we should try to get some real quality soon. Sneijder would be a good one. We also lost out on Sanchez. More dithering by Utd will only lenghthen the pain.

  8. andromeda says:

    Arrival of Young means that Fergie first want to strengthen the wings to give the perfetc harmony of deficient midfield and hence its time for Giggs not bothering himself being play like a winger, Fergie would simply shift him completely to the central midfield playing like a creative passer, to me that is the main idea of bringing Young, dont mention the evolving role that each of Carrick, Anderson may have at least reincarnating some of Scholes role such as long passes, and we saw many of those long passes by Carrick in champions league.another point is Cleverly whom might be the new prospect maestro , he is agile and very technical although doesnt have the vision of Scholesy but I fancy him a very bright futurone last point is Berbatov,well I dont about the rumor being linked to Paris saint German but I really love his talent and dont know whay we should sell him anyway, he sometimes plays like Scholes , I agree he is slow but he has a wonderful vision that no one has at united at this current moment.

  9. TrueCelt says:

    Scholes=Legend. If Pep Guardiola says he wanted to sign him, and Zidane said he was the best player of his generation, the doubters and naysayers should just give up, Scholes was a class act and true football people, proper professionals who know the game inside out, have rightly come out and hailed him for his performances. The only understandable criticism of him is that he didn’t play for your team and you’re jealous of how good a player United had for his entire career. Dont worry, I’m sure Gerrard is about to hit his prime and dominate on the European and domestic stage. Not like his best days are behind him. And Frank Lampard will surely get back to his best and become the best player in the premiership, it’s not like he’s about to be replaced by Luka Modric. And it isn’t like Fabregas is about to be snapped up by Barca for half his true value because he’s a soulless little merc who could care less for London. Fact is it wasn’t just passing, vision and professionalism that made Scholes great, chap was loyal, hardworking and bled for the team. Find me a current generation star with his level of ability who’s got those attributes

  10. bbabyj says:

    lol @ K Pilks… even the worst trolls get takers on football sites. 😀