Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes of Manchester United
Manchester United continue to look at a future where they veteran core from the first true dynasty period of Sir Alex Ferguson's time at the helm come to an end. He has seen many great players throughout his days. Legends like Eric Cantona and Roy Keane were brought to the club, but current veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were created there, apart from Giggs earliest few years being at Manchester City.
The end is nearing for the two long serving midfielders as Giggs turned 39 in November and Paul Scholes 38. Their twilight years have been almost as impressive as their younger days. Despite their age and their not as present faces in the starting XI, the two always have found ways to effect their sides for the positive throughout their various phases of their careers.
As this is looking to be their final seasons with Manchester United respectively, it is hard to imagine the side without the two of them somewhere in the picture. However, the fact of the matter is that the future is always around the corner in football and here are five rumors Manchester United targets that could have a chance at trying to fill the void of the veterans when they finally close the book on their storied careers.
The most veteran and seasoned player linked to Manchester United that could take the place of Paul Scholes and or Ryan Giggs is current Inter Milan outcast, Wesley Sneijder. The Daily Express listed the Netherlands international as a continued target for the Reds just recently, and he remains in their headlines.
Sneijder is well-documented as a player who can control the tempo of the entire game through the midfield. With that abilities to orchestrate the offense as well as unleash his own damage on the defense with his long range skills, the Dutchman is set to enter his prime years.
Those years could be best suited to making an even more impressive list of achievements for himself at Manchester United, playing in support of his national teammate Robin van Persie.
Last season he recorded eight goals and 21 assists for his club and is already on pace to more than exceed both of those categories for Ajax this season. He has six goals and 10 assists already before the halfway part of the campaign. His performances continue to see him as most likely one of the biggest transfer stories of this January or the coming summer.
His skills on the offensive, being those of goal scorer and facilitator, give him the same tools of both the great Scholes and Giggs, and his already-proven ability to change games for Ajax exudes the quality of the two Manchester United veterans.
PSV Eindhoven star Kevin Strootman continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United according to the International Business Times. The unusually left-footed central midfielder has the ability to play from box to box and across multiple positions.
One of the most unique characteristics of both Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes has always been their ability to play so many different positions. Strootman had the experience to play from a holding roll at PSV last season and now has been pushed to a more central creative roll.
The necessity of seeing him play so many positions has increased his abilities across all fronts and would only serve him all the more better if he were to move to Manchester United.
The son of former Manchester United legend Paul Ince is a budding attack-creation star. Much like the Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes of their prime, and even today, the veterans were great facilitators for their teammates.
Ince not only can create for his surrounding players but also has a nose for goal himself and would be a welcomed addition to the club for the long-term future.
Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha is one of the most sought-after young players in the game at the moment.
Manchester United were linked with the midfielder by Football.co.uk recently and although he is a wide player primarily, at times both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were deputized and utilized on the wings for their intelligent football minds.
Zaha is another young player who has the ability to be both goal scorer and creator. The well-rounded game that he is developing is key to filling the boots of veterans such as Scholes and Giggs.