De Rossi – De Real Deal to replace Scholes?
On the day Utd are once again linked with the World Cup winner, the realisation that the little ginger midfield maestro cannot go on forever seems all the more apparent. Scholes is still stalling on a new deal to take him into next season and there is a growing belief that this will indeed be his final season. If reports from the Mirror online are to be believed, the 27 year old Italian, De Rossi is top of Fergie’s wish list and Utd scouts watched him play last weekend in Roma’s 2-0 defeat to Napoli. But just how good is the man who scored Roma’s only goal in that famous 7-1 thrashing at Old Trafford in April 2007?
42 goals scored in 344 appearances for Roma does not quite tell the whole story of this classy, yet combative technician. He won his first cap for Italy at the age of 21, scoring against Norway. Individually, De Rossi has claimed the Serie A young footballer of the year award in 2006 before being rewarded for a string of impressive performances in 2009 with the full version of the award. Add to this club honours such as 2 Italian Cups and an Italian Supercup and it can be seen that he has certainly had a taste of success at club level. International accolades of an Under-21 European Championship in 2004 accompany the ultimate success of that World Cup win in 2006. Clearly a top pedigree.
An excellent passer of the ball and with an eye for a goal…….sound familiar? De Rossi tends to sit deep and spray the passes around but can also push on when required. A fierce competitor, sometimes overly so (he was once sent off for an elbow on USA’s Brian McBride leaving the American with a gash needing stitches), De Rossi seems the perfect fit to fill the obvious void that will be left by Scholesy. Fergie Fergie sign him up!!!!
Despite this, is De Rossi really the answer? Already at the club we have Anderson. The 22 year old has shown in patches why Utd splashed out so much money on him in July 2007 (approx £24 million). With youth on his side and an ever-developing football brain, big things are still expected of the Brazilian despite his stop-start Utd career to date. More first team opportunities could certainly help cement his place.
In addition to this, through the youth system we have got Paul Pogba starting to develop with a first team debut seemingly just around the corner (although now at the business end of this season, he may need to wait until next year). Tom Cleverley has certainly been making an impact at Wigan and hopefully will continue this impressive form when he returns to Utd next year.
Carrick and Gibbo will never be good enough to clean the boots of the little pass master so will never be seen as serious contenders to replace him. But then who can? Looking around Europe to see who is currently available and more importantly who the Glazers will be willing to get the cheque book out for, the pickings appear slim. Just how do you replace someone as good as Scholes? Please tell me who you would like to see and in the mean time enjoy these quotes from some of the greatest in the game as the flames appear to be going out on one of the all-time greats.
Paul Scholes would have been one of my first choices for putting together a great team – that goes to show how highly I have always rated him. He would have been one of the first players I’d have bought, given the chance”
Zinedine Zidane : “Scholes is undoubtedly the best midfielder of his generation.”
Cesc Fabregas : “He is the one whose level I aspire to. He is the best player in the Premier League.”
Edgar Davids : “I’m not the best, Paul Scholes is.”
Thierry Henry : “I can’t understand why Scholes has never won the player of the year award. He should have won it long ago. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t seek the limelight like some of the other ‘stars’.”
“I have no hesitation in putting a name to the embodiment of all that I think is best about football, it’s Paul Scholes. Players like Denis Law and George Best who I enjoyed so much as team-mates and now, finally, players I have watched closely in the Alex Ferguson era. And in so many ways Scholes is my favourite. I love his nous and conviction that he will find a way to win, to make the killer pass or produce the decisive volley” Sir Bobby Charlton.
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