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Manchester United: 10 Reasons Paul Scholes Should Play Another Year

Phil ConstableCorrespondent IMay 17, 2011

Manchester United: 10 Reasons Paul Scholes Should Play Another Year

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 04:   Paul Scholes of Manchester United lines up prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Manchester United and Schalke at Old Trafford on May 4, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Paul Scholes is a legend, both in terms of Manchester United and European football as a whole.

    We've been dazzled over the years by his metronomic control of a game and his inch-perfec long passes that make overs, even footballers, step back and go "wow."

    Despite these incomparable attributes and superlative quality, we've also been frustrated by his late tackles and lack of composure in certain situations: Indeed Scholes' last meaningful contribution in a red shirt was to be dismissed in the FA Cup semifinal against rivals Manchester City back in mid-April.

    As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and the latest reports are that Scholes is torn over whether to return to Old Trafford for one final year.

    Aging legs and sufficient replacements are obvious arguments for the 36-year-old to hang up his boots for one final time but here are 10 reasons why the veteran midfielder should come back for a final swan song.

Quality

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Paul Scholes of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON semi final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 16, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Get
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    If we delve back through the sands of time all the way back to... well only the start of this season to be honest, Scholes was in the form of his life.

    Ryan Giggs had won the PFA player of the year the previous campaign and his long-time team mate was the early front-runner for this year's accolade.

    Admittedly the midfielder's form deteriorated over the course of the year however this does show that Scholes still has the quality to compete and play at the highest level.

Experience

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26:  James McCarthy of Wigan Athletic competes with Paul Scholes of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the DW Stadium on February 26, 2011 in Wigan, England.
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Experience is always a good thing.

    In a Manchester United team that still has many youngsters, Scholes' experience in big games is an invaluable quality to compose the rest of the team in times of times of crisis on the pitch.

    Expect next year's Premier League title race to be the tightest in recent years and the knowledge of having been there and done it in the past is a quality that can't be taught. 

Leadership

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates with Patrice Evra as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on August 22, 2010 in London, Englan
    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Similar to experience but different.

    In a recent and rare interview Scholes said it was very much himself, Ryan Giggs and Edwin Van Der Saar who were the most senior players along with the likes of Rio Ferdinand.

    With Van Der Saar definitely stepping down at the end of the season Scholes' presence and leadership will be needed more than ever alongside Giggs.

Squad Depth

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    MARSEILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 22: Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Gabriel Obertan warm up during the Manchester United training session at the Stade Velodrome on February 22, 2011 in Marseille, France.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Anderson, Fletcher, Park, Carrick, Valencia: What do they all have in common? Injury problems.

    With all of these midfielders having a history of injury issues and Darren Gibson proving he's not ready for regular first-team football, United could do with alt the squad depth they can get.

    Scholes would fit in well as a squad player, giving his weary legs more time to recover between games.

Coaching

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    MARSEILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 23: Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United talks to Paul Scholes during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Marseille and Manchester United at the Stade Velodrome on February 23, 2011 in Mars
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Michael Carrick is by no means the finished article and Anderson is still a very raw prospect.

    Scholes can assist these players on the training pitch and help them develop into truly great players to maintain the future success of the club with teams like Manchester City willing to spend their way to the Premier League crown.

Age

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Paul Scholes of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON semi final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 16, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Get
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Paul Scholes is 36, Ryan Giggs is 37 and is still playing arguably the best football of his life. 

    If Scholes can rest up in the summer and come back healthy and full fit, age should only be a number.

Trophy Hunting

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    22 May 1999:  The two goal scorers Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrate victory with the trophy after the AXA FA Cup Final match against Newcastle United played at Wembley Stadium in London, England.  The match finished in a 2-
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Paul Scholes has won 10 Premier League titles and two European cups, no matter how repetitive the feeling may become it's hard to walk away from further potential titles.

    Scholes will be hungry for more success and that could be enough to se hum back at Old Trafford next season. 

Insurance Policy

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Raul Gonzalez of Schalke competes with Paul Scholes of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Manchester United and Schalke at Old Trafford on May 4, 2011 in Manchester, Englan
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    United are expected to make a number of plunges into the transfer market, however the players they've been heavily linked with are by no means out of the doors at their current clubs.

    If United can't prise the likes of Luca Modric or Wesley Snejider away from their respective clubs than having Scholes for an extra year will provide a back-up option in case those potential deals fall through.

Legacy

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Wayne Rooney (L) and Paul Scholes (R) of Manchester United celebrate clinching the title during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on May 14, 2011 in Blackburn, Engl
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Scholes is fourth on Manchester United's historic all-time appearances list and would only need 15 appearances to overtake Bill Folkes for third on the all-time list.

    Similarly Scholes needs just one goal to surpass Ruud Van Nistelrooy for sole possession of the ninth spot on the all-time goals list.

    They may seem like small records but they mean a lot in the history of Manchester United.

What's He Got to Lose?

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    BURSA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 02:  Paul Scholes of Manchester United acknowledges the crowd at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Bursapor Kulubu and Manchester United at the Bursa Ataturk Stadium on November 2, 2010 in Bursa, Turkey.
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    What's the worst that could happen? This year Gary Neville came back, it didn't work out and Neville retired: No harm done.

    Scholes may like to try and see if it works out and not risk not knowing what would have happened had he never come back to the club.

    In a best case scenario he could have one final great season to bow out in style.

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