Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has revealed his belief that Louis van Gaal will not guide his Red Devils towards a sustained title-challenge next season, as there are too many flaws within his squad.
United look good value for a fourth-placed finish this term - a feat they will achieve should they pick up at least one point from their remaining two Premier League matches this year - and already certain sections of the media are debating whether or not they can improve on that moving into Van Gaal’s second campaign in charge.
However Scholes, who has been increasingly vocal since making the decision to hang up his boots in 2013, told popular United fan channel FullTimeDEVILS - as relayed by the Daily Mail - that to predict that his former side was going to challenge for England’s most prestigious trophy at the next time of asking was a little too much, and that people should set their sights lower.
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"I'd be looking at Champions League again for next year," Scholes said.
"I think it's probably a bit early to challenge for the league.
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"We know Chelsea will buy two or three players and you have to say they have been a long way ahead this year.
"Arsenal look good apart from Monday night (they lost to Swansea) and if they buy a couple I don't think they will be far away. You have to say City will spend a lot of money as well so there's a lot of catching up to be done."
The Premier League rivals
If there’s anyone perfectly positioned to know what it takes to lift the Premier League then Scholes is the man, having lifted the trophy 11 times over the course of his time as a professional footballer. Not only that but he’s turned to punditry post-playing career, and his job now revolves around him analysing players and matches.
Indeed it’s difficult to argue with the legendary playmaker given that the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all boast more cohesive squads at the moment.
Chelsea in particular could have a truly formidable team with but one or two smart additions during the summer transfer window, Arsenal look far more well-rounded than they’ve done in recent years and City are sure to throw plenty of money at any position deemed a problem area.
What’s more United will have European football to factor in once again next season, something that Van Gaal didn’t have to worry about during his maiden year at Old Trafford.
Historically the addition of long trips to the continent and an overload of mid-week matches has encumbered teams that have been fine the season before, and unless Van Gaal can strengthen to his own satisfaction United are bound to struggle.
That said he has already secured the signature of Dutch wonderkid Memphis Depay and it won’t be long before he has his sights trained on other conquests.
A main priority must be focusing on improving the back-line, though he’ll also have the goalkeeping position to sweat over if David de Gea’s contract situation is not resolved.
United fans, do you agree with Scholes or do to you think your side have enough about them to trouble their Premier League rivals next year? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments box below.
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