Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Paul Scholes knew Man Utd star ‘didn’t look right’ last season and fears Ten Hag could pay for club decisions

BT Sport pundit Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes has questioned Manchester United for their transfer strategy, claiming “no one is taking responsibility” and Erik ten Hag will pay for it.

United have faced criticism for their player recruitment decisions ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. While they have made big-money signings, those players have not always hit their best heights.

And Liverpool’s rise across the way in that time has only exacerbated the spotlight on Man Utd’s problems.

The Red Devils recently underwent a major restructuring at the top of the club in a bid to bring more success. Ed Woodward left, with Richard Arnold becoming the new chief executive.

What’s more, United moved towards a sporting director-based model with John Murtough.

However, ex-Man Utd midfielder Scholes is still not convinced that his former club are back on the right track. And he picked out two signings in particular who have caught the eye.

“Jadon Sancho was a young player who Manchester United spent a lot of money on, who was unproven in the league,” Scholes told The Overlap. “And why would a club like Real Madrid let [Raphael] Varane go?

“If you looked at him last season, he didn’t look right. I didn’t think it was a great transfer window. Nobody at the club is taking responsibility for it.”

Scholes added that he fears that Casemiro, who also left Madrid for United, was Ten Hag’s choice of signing.

“A lot of money, a long contract,” the pundit added. “I think they need to put someone in charge of recruitment. Eventually, the manager will get blamed for it.”

Paul Scholes fears for Man Utd

Scholes then got onto United’s recent managers since Ferguson left.

He claimed the appointment of Louis van Gaal in 2014 was strange because the Dutchman “wanted to play possession-based football, but United are not that”.

And amid defensive mistakes involving Harry Maguire and David de Gea this season, Scholes insisted that making “the crowd get nervous” by playing out from the back is “not a Manchester United philosophy”.

He concluded that Ten Hag deserves credit for stamping his mark on the team.

“After the Brentford game, he [Ten Hag] realised he didn’t have the players to play that way, he knew he had to go more direct. Raphael Varane, great a player as he’s been, is not a great footballer,” Scholes said.

“David De Gea is not a great footballer. So, play to your strengths, which for United is the attacking players, and you have to admire the new manager for playing that way [more direct].”

Man Utd need time and patience

As last season’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick pointed out, Man Utd are far off their Premier League rivals.

It will not be a quick fix at Old Trafford and it will take more than two transfer windows to sort the club out.

However, until there is a proper transfer strategy in place, United will not get far.

Casemiro was a headline-grabbing signing following his starring role in Madrid’s midfield. But, at 30, he does not have the longevity to be a generational-type signing for the Red Devils.

On the flipside, United are clearly backing Ten Hag by paying £84million for his top attacking target Antony.

It remains to be seen just how much progress Ten Hag can make this season.

READ MORE: Paul Pogba breaks silence on Man Utd transfer exit as fans are cited as one of three factors behind move