Paul Scholes slams Man United for spending £73m on ‘unproven’ Jadon Sancho and questions logic of buying Raphael Varane, as he takes aim at transfers – and players who ‘took the p***’ last season
- Paul Scholes has questioned deals for Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane
- The ex-Man United midfielder believes no-one is taking responsibility for moves
- Scholes believes new boss Erik ten Hag will get blamed for players he didn’t sign
Paul Scholes has taken a a swipe at Manchester United’s recruitment of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, accusing bosses of setting Erik ten Hag up to take the ‘blame’ if they don’t work out.
The former Manchester United midfielder has spoken previously of his irritation at the way the club is run off the pitch and how they handle recruitment.
United spent more than £211million this summer on six signings, including winger Antony, midfielder Casemiro and centre back Lisandro Martinez.
But Scholes, who has addressed United’s model speaking on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet, has been less-than-impressed at decision-making on Sancho and Varane, two players signed before Ten Hag took over as boss.
Paul Scholes has taken aim at the £73million signing of Jadon Sancho (right) 12 months ago
Deals for Raphael Varane (left) and Casemiro (right) have also been called into question
‘Jadon Sancho was a young player who Manchester United spent a lot of money on, who was unproven in the league. And why would a club like Real Madrid let Varane go?’ Scholes moaned.
‘If you looked at him last season, he didn’t look right. I didn’t think it was a great transfer window. Nobody at the club is taking responsibility for it.’
Sancho made the move from Borussia Dortmund in 2021 but managed just five goals from 38 appearances last season. He finished the campaign with just three assists.
The England winger has three goals from the opening eight matches of 2022-23 but is yet to register an assist.
Sancho arrived from Borussia Dortmund for £73m last summer but endured a tough season
Varane has become a key selection for Ten Hag and he is keeping England’s Harry Maguire out the team as he partners Martinez.
Sancho and Varane arrived under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Scholes conceded that it was ‘tough’ to watch his former side at the end under his old team-mate.
‘He was trying,’ he said. ‘But it looked from the outside as if players were taking the p**s a little bit really, doing what they want, they were going on to the football pitch and in their own world, doing what they wanted to do rather than what was expected of them or what the manager wanted them to do. And performances just went.’
Scholes also remains unconvinced by the signing of 30-year-old defensive midfielder Casemiro, a player he believes may not have been a Ten Hag selection.
‘This year, Casemiro was done over two days,’ Scholes continued. ‘I wonder if it was the manager’s signing. A lot of money, a long contract. I think they need to put someone in charge of recruitment. Eventually, the manager will get blamed for it.’
United made a nightmare start to life under Ten Hag with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and then Brentford.
The 4-0 mauling by Brentford exposed many of United’s shortcomings and that performance pushed Ten Hag to tweak to a more direct style of play, something Scholes was pleased to see.
Scholes hit out at recruitment model as Erik ten Hag will be ‘blamed’ for players he didn’t pick
‘After the Brentford game, he realised he didn’t have the players to play that way, he knew he had to go more direct,’ the ex-United midfielder continued.
‘Varane, great a player as he’s been, is not a great footballer. David De Gea is not a great footballer.
‘So, play to your strengths, which for United is the attacking players, and you have to admire the new manager for playing that way. I’ve been encouraged with what I’ve seen so far by Ten Hag. He’s changed a lot since the Brentford game.
‘The simple thing was, don’t play out from the back. Get the ball forward to your best players. Get Christian Eriksen into centre midfield, a player who can get balls to the forward players.’