Paul Scholes: The Premier League’s Greatest?

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Whichever way you look at it, Paul Scholes had an exceptional club career during his tenure at Manchester United.

The Red Devils stalwart scored 155 goals in 718 appearances at Old Trafford, and he will almost certainly go down in history as a club legend.

In fact, it would be fair to state that Scholes should be regarded as a Premier League icon. After all, he featured in 499 top flight games on the way to winning the domestic title 11 times…

Perhaps the biggest compliment paid Scholes is that some of the best players on the planet have spoken highly of the United legend, both during his time in the sport and in his retirement.

We often ask “Gerrard, Lampard or Scholes?” – and it would be fair to state that the latter of the three always tends to rank above the other two. While Lampard and Gerrard were exceptional footballers, neither were able to dictate a football match in the same manner as Scholes could.

Nowadays, United aren’t quite the dominant force that they were during Scholes’ era. In fact, there is a blatant ‘Scholes-shaped’ hole in the midfield.

While £89 million man Paul Pogba has settled quickly into life at Old Trafford, he just isn’t able to control a football match like Scholes.

That may come with age – but right now, supporters aren’t necessarily getting value for money, especially in away fixtures.

According to research conducted by Voucherbox, United’s away fans spend around £500 more than home supporters every season; and Jose Mourinho’s men have failed to inspire confidence on the road so far this campaign.

The Red Devils have won just three games away from home all year and United would be wise to follow the example of Scholes, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs as they look to get back to the top of English football.

Remember Scholes’ astonishing 25-yard volley against Bradford City? Only he could produce a moment of magic like that. The United star popped up with a phenomenal strike or two during his illustrious career and efforts against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers will live long in our memory.

During his long stint at Old Trafford, Scholes netted a brilliant 22 strikes from outside the penalty area in the top flight – a tally bettered by only a handful of fellow professionals.

While he was unable to replicate his form on the international stage, Scholes’ achievements in the Premier League deserve plenty of respect and he will be recognised as an all-time great in the modern era.

Incredibly, he was named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year just twice in his career; a statistic that suggests he was perhaps overlooked in an era of dominant central midfielders.

He didn’t carry a team like Gerrard or pop up with a crucial goal as frequently as Lampard – but if you ask most people, Paul Scholes would be the first name on the starting line-up of an all-time Premier League XI.

 

 

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