It's hard to replace a player who has made over 700 appearances and scored over 150 goals for Manchester United.
It's a task that has been bestowed upon David Moyes, and thus far, he has failed to find a suitable replacement for the legendary midfielder.
Here I have compiled a list of five players who could fill the void left behind by the 'Ginger Prince', and could possibly be better (and easier to get) options for the new Manchester United manager.
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)
United may have to look no further than their own training ground to find a suitable candidate to cure their midfield woes. After being signed from Dortmund the Japanese playmaker's first season in English football was plagued by injuries and a lack of playing time. However, after a disappointing debut campaign, Kagawa is more determined than ever to come back strong and ready to play.
He is hungry to cement himself into the centre of Moyes' plans and become an important figure in any success that the Red Devils have moving forward. He's a quick-witted player who can create chances for teammates as well as score some goals himself. Alongside Michael Carrick, playing slightly behind Robin van Persie, Kagawa could be the answer to Manchester United's midfield problems.
Nemanja Matic (Benfica)
The Serbian playmaker came into his own after a very successful season at Benfica. He has an excellent ability to dictate the tempo of a game and disrupt opposition attacks. Last season the defensive midfielder scored four goals for the Portuguese club, but after attracting interest from Chelsea he could be a difficult player for Moyes to get.
The £45 million price tag might be a problem too, but the money would be spent on a player who would stabilise Manchester United's midfield for the next decade. There is no reward without an element of risk.
The Brazilian midfielder has also caught the eye of Manchester City, which could make the talented playmaker more difficult to get. However, the 28-year-old midfielder has an exceptional ability to keep the midfield ticking over, a trait which has been sorely missed in the absence of Paul Scholes. Also similar to the former Red Devil, Hernanes has a rocket in his leg that can be unleashed at any time.
Sven Bender (Dortmund)
Last season the German defensive midfielder was instrumental in Dortmund's fantastic run to the Champions League final. Bender is a ball-winning midfielder who stops opposition advances and keeps possession of the ball with short, simple passes to more creative players.
He would fix United's problem of allowing opponents to pass through them too easily, often times having so many holes in the midfield that cheesy Swiss cheese comparisons were almost deemed necessary. Bender would become an anchor in the center of the park, and provide much needed stability for a shaky and weak Manchester United midfield.
Michael Bradley (Roma)
The 26-year-old has become an integral part of the American national team and has managed to impose himself in a Roma midfield where he has had to compete with Daniele De Rossi for a starting position.
Bradley started 24 times and came off the bench six times in Serie A play last season as he helped guide Roma to a sixth place finish. The American international has a wide spectrum of passes he can make, from short simple passes to long, driven cross field switches. He can dictate the tempo of a match, and on the defensive side he positions himself well on the pitch to impede opposition counter attacks. He's an all-around solid midfielder who should be an option for David Moyes to consider.
So those are five possible options to fill the void in the Manchester United midfield. With a variety of options at his disposal, Moyes could look within United or to the transfer market in search of a replacement for Paul Scholes. He'll have to act soon, as the new season dawns upon us, and a quality midfielder will be imperative for the Red Devils title defence.
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