Paul Scholes is widely regarded as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players, but did you know that he was almost released by the Red Devils in the early 1990s?
Neither did we until now.
Lee Sharpe, the former United winger who played alongside Scholes for a few seasons, revealed on BT Sport on Friday night that Sir Alex Ferguson was considering letting the technically-gifted midfielder leave - but was convinced to keep him following a moment of magic on the training ground.
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Asked if there was a point that United were considering not offering the young Scholes a new contract, Sharpe said: “The senior pros - [Bryan] Robson, [Steve] Bruce, [Peter] Schmeichel, [Brian] McClair always used to watch the third team and Scholes was playing. Robson turned to the manager and says, ‘who are you keeping, who are you letting go?’
“[Ferguson] said, ‘we’re keeping [David] Beckham, [Nicky] Butt, Neville, this lad, I’m not sure about the little redhead in midfield’.
Video: Lee Sharpe talks about Paul Scholes
“And then Scholsey gets the ball on the edge of the box, feints to shoot and drags it (defender slides past him) feints to shoot again and drags it (another midfielder slides past him) shuffles between the two centre-halves, feints to shoot (keeper goes down on one knee) and Scholsey scoops it and dinks it in the bottom corner.
“Robson turned to the manager and said, ‘you sure you know what you’re talking about?’”
Paul Scholes - Manchester United legend
Fortunately for Manchester United, Ferguson kept Scholes and the rest is history.
He would go on to play for the Red Devils 718 times, scoring 155 goals and winning countless major honours in the process.
Gary Neville names Scholes as the best player he ever played with - yes, over the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona - and many of the midfielder’s former teammates would say the same thing.
What Manchester United would give to have a player of Scholes’ class in their team now.
Is Paul Scholes the most talented Manchester United player ever? Let us know by leaving a comment below.