Manchester United legend Paul Scholes wishes the club had signed Toni Kroos, indicating the club's recent acquisitions of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw aren't "anything like the quality" of Bayern Munich's controlling midfielder.
Scholes, who is branded the "no-nonsense" pundit in his Paddy Power column, praised Kroos' multi-faceted game in the latest submission to the betting site:
I love watching Toni Kroos. I think he’s brilliant. I love the way he controls the ball and controls games. He can really play a pass and has superb vision. Kroos is capable of scoring goals too, from outside the box on either foot. I just wish Man United had signed him (Yes, it is good to see United bringing in new players, but they haven’t signed anything like the quality of Kroos).
United were linked with Kroos throughout the January transfer window, and up until recently, they looked to be interested in the 24-year-old who has failed to agree a new contract at the Allianz Arena. Louis van Gaal was said to have ended the Red Devils' previous interest in Kroos before bringing Herrera to the club, reported by Jamie Jackson of the Guardian.
Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail believes Kroos is now ready to link up with Real Madrid, a transfer also reported by Germany-based pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft:
Scholes' comments suggest United should have taken the opportunity to sign Kroos more seriously. It's a sentiment many supporters will follow, especially as Herrera's name isn't as internationally recognised as the German star. It's likely the club could have snapped Kroos up for a similar fee to the £28.85 million paid for Herrera, a player who missed out on Spain's World Cup squad, per Sky Sports.
Guillem Balague, Spanish football expert and Bleacher Report UK guest columnist, outlines Herrera as the "natural successor" to Andres Iniesta at international level in his article for the Telegraph. While United fans will hope he can replace the Barcelona man with similar quality for Spain, there's no denying he'll have to quickly prove himself at Old Trafford if the doubters are to be silenced.
Blessed with an avid work rate, excellent vision and the versatility United need in midfield, Herrera has the ability to be a star in the Premier League.
Scholes' comments continue to draw attention after he criticised Jack Wilshere, per Sky Sports. His words are given more emphasis due to the relative infancy of his media career. This is not a man who has traditionally spoken about his feelings surrounding United and wider football matters, so now he is beginning to open up, people are listening.
Many supporters will be pleased with the club's recent signings. Van Gaal's era is yet to officially begin and he has already brought in two players to help address major squad shortcomings, the same total of new personnel acquired in David Moyes' entire reign. Both Herrera and Shaw offer proven quality with the promise to become world-renowned stars, certainly an exciting prospect for the club's future.
It is likely Van Gaal will continue to strengthen after his duties with the Netherlands are complete. His substitutions continue to win matches for the Dutch at the World Cup, providing hope that United will soon return to the never-say-die attitude that Sir Alex Ferguson made so famous during his legendary tenure as boss.
Scholes' comments certainly point toward what could have been with Kroos, but at least the club is now moving in the right direction at the onset of a busy summer period.