Replacing a legend like Paul Scholes will be incredibly tough for Manchester United.
In fact, there is no way Sir Alex Ferguson could actually replace such a spectacular player. Through his talent, leadership and attitude, Scholes completely changed the central midfield position. He is a transcendent player, and his replacement will have his work cut out for him.
Still, with a hard-nosed attitude and an endless desire to win, there are a few players who could take on the fiery red-heads' role. From vicious volleys to harsh tackles, Scholes is a multi-dimensional player that a lot of people could emulate.
I have gathered a list of players (both on United's roster and off) who could evolve into a Scholes-type personality. Depending on the player, the Scholes' characteristic may be different.
Feel free to let me know if you thought of other players, agreed with mine or believed I'm completely wrong.
Anderson is a solid midfielder. Although he has been relatively disappointing since coming from Porto, Anderson could have a big year.
He has the necessary tools to be a creative midfielder in the Premier League. Anderson is built to be a facilitator. If he develops a mental toughness, he could become the great passer that Scholes was for his entire career.
Anderson has the foot skills. He simply needs to gain a better confidence in the United midfield. If he is able to facilitate, United could have three strikers score 15+ goals.
Javier Hernandez was one of the most exciting players in the EPL last season. Chicharito had a knack for scoring goals, and Sir Alex Ferguson finally started to play him in the first XI.
Right now, Chicharito is merely a finisher. However, with time, he could develop into a magical scorer, similar to Paul Scholes. Scholes had the knack for the big-time goal, and he was always a threat to score a firecracker.
Chicharito isn't known for fantastic goals yet, but he has the work ethic and skill to become one of the timeliest scorers of this generation.
Matty James has been compared to Paul Scholes since he put on a Manchester United uniform.
While that is not fair to the youngster, his play does warrant those comparisons. I always disagree with young players being compared to all-time greats, but James does match up. He can hold down the midfield, distribute the ball and score occasionally.
He is only 20-years-old, so he may not see first-team action for a few years. However, James' time will come. When it does, you can be sure that he will have the same domineering presence that Scholes had in the United midfield.
Phil Jones was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's prized targets. He was at the top of Ferguson's transfer wishlist, and he made the move to Manchester.
Like Scholes, Jones is a hard-nosed defender, and he will surely lock down an already strong Manchester United back line. Jones is only 19-years-old, so expect to see him for a long-time coming.
Like I said, Jones is a hard-nosed defender, and he will surely have his fair share of hard tackles. If he hones his Scholes-like toughness, strikers will fear Jones. If Jones can strike fear in opponents, then he will continue to be successful in the Premiership.
Scholes was able to dominate matches with tough midfield play. Now, Jones will add some toughness to the defense, which will make United even tougher to beat.
Is there a more intense striker in the EPL than Wayne Rooney?
Rooney has been known for choice words. Paul Scholes was also known for being one of the fiercest competitors in all of world football. Although they live completely different lives off the field, these men have similar personalities once they step on a pitch.
With Scholes gone, many players (and fans) will be looking for Rooney to show his intensity. Preferably, in an appropriate manner.
While that may not happen, Rooney will continue to illustrate Manchester United's competitive fire on the field.
Wesley Sneijder is a master of the midfield. He has one of the best touches in the world, and he can orchestrate goals like no one else.
With Scholes' masterful touch leaving Sir Alex Ferguson's midfield, he knew he needed to find another midfielder. Sneijder can be that midfielder. He may not quite be on the same level as Scholes (but really, who is?), but he is a comparable player that can do a lot while attacking.
United scored the most goals in the Premier League last season, and they could possibly add one of the best midfielders in the world.
Although Scholes' presence will be missed, Sneijder could dominate, which would make the retirement of a legend a lot easier to swallow.