Club legend Paul Scholes is concerned that Manchester United’s back four is not good enough to win the Premier League.
In an interview with ESPN, Scholes said ‘I actually do think United can win the league because it’s been such a weird season, but it’s all about winning the big games now.’
And he pinpointed that the key to success in those big games is staying solid defensively.
‘It’s not about going to Liverpool or City and winning with a great performance or lots of goals,’ he said.
‘When we won titles, so many of our wins at Liverpool were 1-0 or 2-1 after having to dig it out for 80 minutes. You accept you’re going to have days like that against the top teams, when you don’t dominate the game and have to battle to stay in it.
‘You have to be able to defend properly and withstand the opposition’s attacks, but I’m still to be convinced that this United side can do that.
In terms of the side’s ability to defend, Scholes was particularly concerned with the back four.
‘As a back-four, I worry about how good they really are,’ he admitted.
‘At full-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is just about defending, which is fine for a game at Liverpool, but I’m not sure what Luke Shaw brings to the team.
‘In the middle, Ole still has to find Harry Maguire’s best partner. Eric Bailly has pace, but he is rash and picks up too many injuries. Victor Lindelof plays the position better and seems to be Ole’s preferred option, but again, he is not totally convincing.’
‘United have done OK at the back this season, but they have been exposed when playing against the big teams, and that’s another problem they need to solve.’
One interesting aspect of Scholes’ comments is that he is looking to find a partner for Maguire, when many fans believe that the England man is not necessarily United’s best centre-back.
The amount paid for Maguire and the fact that he is the club captain seems to have resulted in his being untouchable in terms of team selection, even if United do dip into the transfer market to strengthen that position. On that front, Scholes identified one possible target.
‘If I was Ole and could sign a defender this month, I’d go for Wesley Fofana at Leicester. He’s only 20, but he has been outstanding and he has the potential to be anything he wants to be,’ he said.
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