Belfast Telegraph

Paul Scholes believes even Lionel Messi would struggle at Manchester United

The former United and England midfielder has been a frequent and vocal critic of his old club.

Paul Scholes claims even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current Manchester United team and says the club are being laughed at by their rivals.

The former United and England midfielder has been a frequent and vocal critic of his old club in recent years and their current eighth place in the Premier League – five points adrift of any other member of the ‘big six’ – has done little to improve his view.

They had to watch Manchester City win last season’s title in record-breaking fashion and City are flying high at the top once more, alongside Liverpool and manager Jose Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.

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Manchester City won last season’s Premier League title (Martin Rickett/PA)

“That shouldn’t make any difference but it does,” Scholes told ESPN. “United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did.

“We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right. It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.

“I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago.”

Mourinho has spent reported fees of over £350million since arriving at Old Trafford in 2016.

Despite that, he has clashed with the club’s hierarchy over recruitment while costly signings including Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba have failed to flourish under his management.

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Paul Pogba, centre left, and Alexis Sanchez have not produced their best form (Martin Rickett/PA)

Scholes continued: “I don’t think there’s a lack of quality there. I do think they miss a couple of real class players that other top teams seem to have – a link player between the midfield and the forwards and also a controlling midfield player.

“It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles. I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team.

“I think (Mourinho) still is (a great manager), but you wonder why his side keep getting outplayed.

“People talk about the first 10 games of this season but last year it was the same. The reason we finished second last year was because of the goalkeeper (David De Gea).”

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