This isn’t about replacing Scholes. It never was. But the 36-year-old’s announcement Tuesday morning has hastened the midfield makeover and compelled Ferguson to move quickly in the transfer market.
Replacing him would involve finding and buying a player who combines unparalleled vision with a superb passing ability and a fondness for tackling with a quiet, humble and loyal demeanor. You don’t just uncover that type of player in a transfer window; you don’t just go out and sign a guy, hand him Paul Scholes’ boots and say, “Here you go, mate. Step in.”
One of Gerard Houllier’s contributions to Aston Villa last season—indeed, one of his few—was to move Young from a strictly left-wing role into more of a central position. The 25-year-old adapted to his new assignment quite quickly and notched nine goals in all competitions for the fourth season in a row,Darrelle Revis Jets Jersey. He also remained one of the Premier League’s top dead ball specialists, which is certainly something Ferguson will be looking to improve in his own side this summer.
Now, Modric will never average the 10 or 15 goals Ferguson could expect from Scholes a decade ago, but that won’t be his job. Modric is a sublime passer of the ball and both uses and makes space exceptionally well,DeSean Jackson Eagles Jersey. He also tends to sit a little deeper, which would accommodate Wayne Rooney’s tendency to drift about the middle and attacking thirds.
Related articles The Roja and the Corrida Champions League Final will have massive repercussions...for Spurs How did Chelsea beat Barcelona?
But United won’t solve their midfield problems with just Modric, which probably explains why those Ashley Young rumours keep floating around.
No, Ferguson will have to go outside the club—and perhaps outside the Premier League—to find the player or players he needs to take United forward. As chief executive David Gill said, “It’s going to by a busy summer.”
It’s a safe bet that one of these three players—Modric, Young and Sneijder—will find himself at Old Trafford in August. Perhaps two will make the switch,Pat Angerer Jersey. But the likeliest scenario—and most affordable—sees Ferguson signing just one of the big names and complimenting the addition with a Jack Rodwell, Charlie Adam or Jordan Henderson.
by Jerrad Peters
You don’t just replace a player like Paul Scholes and Soccer 365's Jerrad Peters looks into how he will be replaced now that he has announced his retirement.
Then there’s Wesley Sneijder. If there’s a single player who would seem to best be able to address United’s needs, it’s him. He is already one of world football’s top playmakers and has shown, both with Inter Milan and Holland, that he’s more than capable of unlocking any defense.
Luca Modric is the name on most people’s lips when discussing the post-Scholes United midfield. At 25, he has had three good seasons at Tottenham Hotspur since moving to north London from Dinamo Zagreb after Euro 2008, and while on duty with the Croatian national team in the run-up to Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Georgia, he mentioned his desire to play Champions League football next season and said he’d be open to a summer transfer, so long as it benefited both himself and Spurs.
You can follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer.
You don’t just replace a player like Paul Scholes. As Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said many times before, and said again in his Tuesday statement, Scholes was an “unbelievable” player—one hailed as “the greatest player of his generation” by none other than Zinedine Zidane.
But you do have to move on. Scholes is no longer a Manchester United player, and even though he made only 22 Premier League appearances in his final campaign and tallied just a single goal, he leaves a difficult void to fill,Jason Witten Cowboys Jersey.
No question Scholes will be missed. But his exit—characteristically classy and soft-spoken—will be a good thing for United. It will cause them to ponder exactly what they’ll miss and what they need to do to rebuild a midfield worthy of his legacy.
That it won’t be filled from within the club comes as no surprise to anyone who watched United play last season. So often disjointed, unbalanced and permeable, their midfield looked nothing like the one run by Scholes in his heyday. That isn’t to disrespect Michael Carrick or disregard the contributions of Darren Fletcher,Jerod Mayo Youth Jersey. Both players are likely to remain at Old Trafford for the long term, although neither will offer the sort of creativity and inspiration the team was accustomed to with Scholes in it.
It might have been anyway. Edwin Van der Sar’s retirement was always going to necessitate a move for a ‘keeper, and Dimitar Berbatov may have played his last match for the Red Devils as well. His 20 goals will have to come from somewhere. But without a creative, attacking presence in the centre of the park, it’s hard to see United matching last year’s output of 78 goals, which was hardly an impressive tally to begin with.
But how would he hold up in the Premier League? Because of injuries,Tony Romo Youth Jersey, he has never played more than 30 league games in a season. He also has a good thing going at Inter, where he contends for silverware every year and is the undisputed talisman of the team. He wouldn’t be the top dog at United.