Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded that replacing veteran midfielder Paul Scholes will be “very, very difficult” for the club.
Scholes had a massive impact on the fortunes of United, after coming out of retirement in Janaury to help them in their Premier League title pursuit.
The 37 year-old had previously called time on his glittering career, but after six months out of the game, decided that he still had the desire to play at the highest level, and made a remarkable return to action for United's 3-2 F.A. Cup win over bitter rivals City at the start of the year.
As reported by Goal.com, when asked about the impact and future of the gifted midfielder, Ferguson said: “A year ago, he was coaching my Reserves team. Now he's back playing and everybody attached to United is absolutely delighted because he's such a fantastic player.”
United had been heavily linked with a move for Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder last summer, but a deal failed to materialise. The Red Devils have since been linked with a whole host of exciting midfielders, but as Ferguson continues, the task of finding the perfect replacement for Scholes will be harder than first thought.
“In the long term, trying to replace Paul is a different issue all together. It's going to be very, very difficult. To replace a great player like that would be hard for anyone.”
Scholes agreed a one-year contract extension in June, with the option of a further extension, should the former England international seek it.