Back in 2019, Manchester United legend Paul Scholes said quite strongly that to play in midfield for the club a player has to be good at a bit of everything, an all-around player.
At the time, he felt the club lacked a midfielder who could do that.
Scholes told BT Sport in 2019: “There’s a lot of midfielders these days, ‘are they a midfielder or an attacking midfielder?’ which kinda freaks me out.
“As a good midfielder, you have to be able to do a bit of everything.
“As a central midfielder – especially at Man United – you have to be able to do everything. You have to be able to help your defence, you have to help in attack.”
“It’s not just about sitting down and being a holding midfielder. It’s not just about moving forward. You have to have a bit of everything like the players I played with had.
Three years on from those comments, it appears United have yet to address this key issue raised by their former player.
Caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick spoke about his midfield options earlier this month and would seem to share the same thoughts as Scholes, strongly hinting that United lacked a versatile midfielder.
Rangnick said: “It doesn’t help if a profile is missing.
“We have to work and want to work with the players we have.
“We have shown that we are capable of keeping a clean sheet with these players, but that’s also what we do with the ball and without the ball.
“Again, we’ve had too many freebies, too many turnovers in this [Wolves] game, that’s also something we’ve talked about with the team – that we shouldn’t make it too easy for the other team to get possession of the ball, especially when once we have the ball it’s It’s also about making responsible decisions, making the right decision at the right time.
United have been linked with several midfielders, such as West Ham’s Declan Rice, Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, among others.
But the Reds boss is expecting a quiet window this month.
He added: “In my experience, winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers.
“With the quality of players we have here, in theory it would only make sense if you could find players who can guarantee you more quality. From experience, it will be difficult in winter.
Rangnick might not get what he needs, or what Scholes gets, in January, but United need to ensure he pursues the right goal profile for the summer.
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