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Reports: Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Ilkay Gundogan to replace Paul Scholes at Manchester United

Suman Dey
ANALYST
News
380   //    14 Sep 2018, 08:52 IST

Sir Alex Ferguson convinced Paul Scholes to come out of retirement in January 2012
Paul Scholes was made to come out of the retirement by Sir Alex

What's the story?

Manchester United's former coach Rene Meulensteen has told the Evening Standard that Sir Alex wanted Ilkay Gundogan to replace Paul Scholes at Old Trafford.

In case you didn't know...

Gundogan played for Borussia Dortmund at the time when Sir Alex was the Manchester United manager. He was a vital part for the German side in winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp. IIkay Gundogan played a total of 157 matches and scored 15 goals for Dortmund including scoring in a Champions League final which they lost against the arch-rivals Bayern Munich.

Gundogan's impressive performances saw him being the subject of a big money move away from Germany, and he finally landed at Manchester City where he is currently playing for Pep Guardiola.

The heart of the matter

Paul Scholes was one of the best midfielders in the history of Premier League. It was not only hard but an impossible task to replace someone like Scholes in the team. He made 718 appearances for United and announced his retirement in 2011, but he was asked to come out of it by Sir Alex understanding the gravity of the situation United were in with City threatening to walk away with the title. 

But Scholes was not a long-term solution to the midfield problems that United was facing which let Fergusson identify Gundogan as a potential replacement for the United legend.

Meulensteen stated: "We were looking at Gundogan - someone similar [to Scholes], who could keep ticking the ball over, thinks quick and has tempo." Furthermore, he added that if Sir Alex stayed at the club for a few more years, then there would have been an abundance of quality and energy in the squad. 

What's next?

Gundogan is currently settled at Manchester City, having won the Premier League last season under Pep Guardiola. He would be looking to build on that and hoping for a more regular place in the starting line up. However, for Manchester United, they are yet to find a replacement for Paul Scholes and still reeling under the shadows of Manchester City.

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Suman Dey
ANALYST
A sports enthusiast and an avid follower of football. Since childhood I was encouraged to play cricket and in no time it became a hobby. Gradually I found interest in other sports also. Football is in my blood and I love the electrifying ambiance that surrounds it. I often watch the pre and post match analysis of a match and try to learn how to analyze a football game. The thing that intrigues me the most is that there are so many things happening behind the scenes that are oblivious to our naked eyes. The technological advancements that has been made are phenomenal. I like analyzing a game from a statistical point of view. Being a data guy myself , I am firm believer of providing insights through facts and data. Though a game is always unpredictable , analyzing it from different dimensions can provide some very interesting conclusions.
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