Paul Sholes has been one of the best midfielders of his era, and players like Xavi have looked up to him in a quest to emulate his success. Scholes, who was brought back from retirement last season by Sir Alex Ferguson to resurrect his midfield after a series of injuries had struck the team, has made it perfectly clear that his career will be over when this season culminates.
So, with the past making the final transition to the future at the end of the season, Ferguson has to start thinking about potential replacements to bring in for the midfield genius. Failure to do so may result in United having another very hard campaign in the Premier League and indeed, Europe.
Cheick Tiote is a very realistic option for Ferguson to take with Newcastle happy to let him go for the right price. Tiote is a tough and persistent midfielder who is just the man United need to anchor their weak midfield, however his lack of discipline may prove the problem in buying him. He has known to be quite reckless and does not always make the right tackle. Nevertheless, there are a host of Premier League clubs after the star including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea and at just 26 years old, Tiote has at least another 4 years at the top level but if Ferguson wants to buy him, he’s going to have to do so this season.
Maroune Fellaini is a man who has only recently been noticed by top teams and managers. He is a fantastic box-to-box midfielder with the ability to score a few goals from dangerous positions. On top of this, Fellaini has only been playing his greatest football for the past year and at 24, the best is still to come. Fellaini has also made it clear to Everton that he will be leaving this January for the right club, and if Manchester United can qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League and maintain a good position inside the Premier League, Manchester is where Fellaini could be heading.
Lars Bender is a strong midfielder with fantastic passing and brilliant defensive attributes. A player who prefers to dictate the game from a defensive position, he sits just in front of the defence and may be just what United are missing. He has been slowly rising to fame with Bayer Leverkusen as they have nurtured the rise of the promising 23 year old, and a move to a bigger club may be what he needs in order to propel himself to even further heights. He is also the man on this list that may resemble the playing style of Paul Scholes the most, a player with never-ending vision and crunching tackles-Lars Bender is one for the future.
A man whose move to Manchester United has been speculated since early 2011, this is the one that has the least chance of happening on the list. At 28 years old, Ferguson has been reluctant to fork out the asking price of midfielders over 25 years old in the past. However, Sneijder is a very special player with brilliant use of both feet; unbelievable free kicks and fantastic long shots. Sneijder is also a brilliant passer of the ball, but some may argue that Ferguson needs more of a defensive midfielder to dictate games than somebody who can create chances out of nothing. He is also a player that has struggled with injuries recently in his career, but if Ferguson was happy to take the risk with injury prone Robin Van Persie then I don’t see any reason as to why he wouldn’t give this transfer the green light.