Scholes’ high hopes
Paul Scholes has been part of a host of trophy-winning squads during his 18 years in the first team and the midfielder says he has high hopes for the current group when it comes to challenging for silverware.
The arrival of Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa, Nick Powell and Alexander Büttner this summer – with Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez also soon to be confirmed as a Red – has further boosted an already talented squad.
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken many times of the need to be ready for when the golden oldies of Scholes and Ryan Giggs finally hang up their boots and Scholes himself insists the summer acquisitions have added great quality to what he believes is a burgeoning group.
“You always like to see new players come in even if they’re in your position because it’s healthy for the team and exciting to play with the new players,” he told ManUtd.com.
“We’ve got strength everywhere in the squad. We’ve struggled with injuries to defenders, but when we have everyone fit I think there are two teams that the manager has available to him and that could compete in the Premier League and cup competitions. It all looks very healthy and, as players, we know when we get given our chance we have to take it. If you don’t, you’ll be out of the team, simple as that.
“All the new signings have settled in well. Shinji [Kagawa] has been with us since the start of pre-season so he’s had a good amount of time to settle in. He’s a top class player who did great in Germany and we’re lucky to have him.
“Nick Powell has done really well. He hasn’t had much first team action yet but he’s only a young lad and there’s plenty of time for him. He has great quality.
“Robin [van Persie] is a top signing and we all hope to form a good understanding with him as the season goes on and Alex [Buttner] played his first game for the Under 21s last week and did really well.
“There’s great competition for places with so many good players here and there are plenty of games to come [for everyone to be involved in].”
Van Persie may have grabbed the headlines on Sunday with a superb hat-trick in the win at Southampton, but Scholes has been equally impressed by the exertions of Kagawa in his role just behind the front man, a position the 37-year-old knows all too well.
“Shinji is just a clever footballer who gets into those great positions where it’s difficult for other teams to pick him up,” adds Scholes. “He’s always on the move which makes it easier for the midfielders to find him.
“He really fits in with the way we play. It’s important that he links up well with the midfielders and centre forwards and he’s already shown he’s clever enough to do that. He’s very intelligent and someone we all enjoy playing with.”