Ginger Maestro’s Return Demonstrates Ferguson’s Need To Buy This Summer
Paul Scholes should return to Premier League action for Manchester United this weekend, but the need to bring him back shows Ferguson needs to buy this summer.
This weekend could see the Premier League return of an Old Trafford club legend eight months after retiring if Paul Scholes makes his shock return against Bolton.
As United lifted their record-breaking 19th Premier League title in May, the “Ginger Maestro” that had haunted midfields and defences throughout the world for 17 years, was hanging up his boots.
With a personal haul including 10 Premier League titles, 466 appearances and 102 goals in the league to his name, Scholes has proven to be as massive a void to fill as goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel in 1999.
Back in May, Scholes was brought on for what looked to be his final United appearance to try and disrupt a humiliating Barça masterclass. A little under two weeks ago, Ferguson again no doubt wished he could bring on the player Xavi described as “The best central midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15, 20 years” to turn the tide of a humiliating defeat.
But this was not a lesson straight out of the La Masia academy, this was Tyneside and seeing his charges outclassed not by Xavi and Messi but by Tiote and Cabaye no doubt had the Scot dishing out a healthy dose of his famed hairdryer. Having also previously lost to league trailers Blackburn Rovers, Ferguson looked for an answer with many of his midfielders and defenders on the treatment table or suffering a dip in form.
Instead of plumping for the exciting but relatively untested talent of Paul Pogba or Ravel Morrison, Ferguson announced the return of the Stretford End’s hero hours before taking on Manchester City in their third round FA Cup tie. Although his errant pass led to City’s second goal, his influence on his teammates was evident in that they looked up to Scholes to lead them over the line and this icon status could prove to be pivotal in the League title run-in.
His arrival must surely have had players such as Anderson and Darron Gibson (poised to join Everton) tapping up their agents for moves to pastures new but the 37-year-old’s influence could prove crucial to United’s 20th Premier League title push.
United soon make the journey down to the capital against an invigorated Arsenal keen to avenge the Red Devils’ 8-2 hammering and a Chelsea side determined to fight their way back into the title race. Scholes’ wealth of experience, vision and industry could be exactly what their young charges need by providing a central leader until Ferguson breaks out the chequebook for a long-term replacement.
Although Ferguson has many young midfielders coming through the ranks, the need to bring Scholes out of retirement has highlighted a weakness which was not strengthened in last summer’s transfers.
Hot prospects such as Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Götze or Thiago Alcantara, if Barcelona could be persuaded to part with the gifted Spanish starlet, would no doubt be welcome alongside Tom Cleverley in their engine room and also satisfy Ferguson’s policy of buying young players to build into world beaters.
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