Manchester United: 5 Reasons Why Paul Scholes Should Leave
Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville, Robin Van Persie and Ryan Giggs have each waxed lyrically about Scholes' unerring vision and talent on the ball, and anyone who has ever seen this genius at work knows that they’re right in proclaiming him England’s finest midfielder of the last 25 years.
But athletes wane, and despite moving from centre forward to an attacking and now holding midfielder as his career progressed, it would now appear that Scholes is at the end of his tenure as a Manchester United player.
We’ve been through this before though. In 2011, Scholes made a miraculous comeback to almost lead United to their 20th title. But I can’t see that happening again, can you?
Here are five reasons why Paul Scholes should leave Manchester United in the summer.
Paul Scholes is a proud man.
He is one of the most self-aware professionals in sport and he will know that he isn’t able to produce the passes, goals and late-tackles that once littered his game.
And having amassed 700 appearances for United, the third-highest number by any player, and scored over 100 goals, too, Scholes will want to be remembered for the class and guile he produced on the field, rather than overstaying his welcome.
Lack of Influence
When he originally retired in 2011 Scholes’ main reason for his departure was that his influence had diminished on the pitch.
However, when he returned the following January, he showed that he could dictate a match more fluently than anyone else in the league, and his displays through the latter half of the season almost led United to another title.
But this season, Scholes has been unable to find enough time on the ball for him to orchestrate games in the same fashion as years gone by, and his weary legs have been taken advantage of on numerous occasions by opponents.
Injuries have also kept him sidelined for the past two months, but he is expected to return over the next few days. Hopefully he can show that he has still got the skill to flourish in the Premier League.
Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick have come on leaps and bounds over the course of this season, and their understanding and rhythm is one of the main reasons why Manchester United currently sit 15 points clear of Manchester City.
Scholes’ departure would confirm that these players are now Ferguson’s first choice central midfield pairing.
But Ferguson’s rotation policy has been a key element of his success since 2006, and if Scholes did leave this summer, it might open up the possibility for the likes of Luka Modric, Moussa Dembele or Kevin Strootman can come in and replace him.
Either way, selling Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Nick Powell would allow Ferguson to revamp the position and re-build his midfield for the future.
Progress as a Coach
Of course, to simply throw Scholes out onto the trash heap would be silly considering the vast knowledge and wisdom he could part with to United’s youth team players.
Scholes has already made it clear that he wants to take a coaching position again at the club went he finally hangs up his boots, and you can bet your bottom dollar that United will ask him to return to the position he briefly took in the autumn of 2011 when he does.
Finally Play or Manage for His Beloved Oldham Athletic
Scholes’ hometown club have been yearning for him to play at Boundary Park ever since it became apparent he was quite the skilled player.
Scholes himself has also made it clear that his affection and allegiance still lies with the Latics, and he is still a regular spectator at the ground.
Even United’s most ardent of supporters wouldn’t begrudge Scholes a transfer to Oldham, either as a player or manager, and it would be quite emotional for any fan of the game to watch him pull on that blue shirt for the first time.