Paul Scholes makes damning Man Utd transfer claim after Europa League exit vs Sevilla
Paul Scholes slammed Manchester United’s tepid showing against Sevilla on Thursday night and said it could help Erik ten Hag decide which players to sell this summer.
United were second best all night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in a game they lost 3-0 and were bullied by a more energetic and enthusiastic side in the Europa League quarter-final second leg. Sloppy passes from David de Gea and Harry Maguire gifted Sevilla an early goal, while the United goalkeeper’s poor touch handed Sevilla a third in the latter stages.
Anthony Martial was also replaced with an injury in the second period, and Scholes questioned whether those players have what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford in the future. “I think it’s made Ten Hag’s mind up on a few of these players which is probably the only help he’ll have tonight,” the ex-midfielder said on BT Sport.
“It comes down to quality, there’s a real lack of quality. There are some good players on the pitch like Casemiro and [Christian] Eriksen but then you go to a [Wout] Weghorst. The quality just drops. The injury to Martial, Marcus [Rashford] comes on, he’s probably not trained as much as he would like. Luke Shaw was sloppy as well on the ball.
“It was a disastrous night and we’ve had these nights throughout the season where it’s been a little bit disastrous. But I still think Ten Hag is doing things right and I think they are going in the right direction. This will help him summer-wise. He will know by looking at that game, the first 20 minutes, that he needs better players for his squad.”
Asked which areas United need to address in the summer, Scholes picked out three positions that need upgraded. “A centre-forward, that’s quite clear,” he opined. “I think Anthony Martial is a talented lad but when the going gets tough and he needs to dig in he doesn’t have the heart for it.
“He didn’t tonight again and I don’t know about his injury when he limped off. He could be back tomorrow or out for six months.
“I think in other areas, you look defensively, right-back is a problem for him and he changes all the time between [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka and [Diogo] Dalot. I don’t think he’s sure on either of them.
“You have to question the goalkeeper,” he added. “I think especially tonight, Ten Hag will eventually want to play out from the back and David de Gea has been a fantastic goalkeeper, but he’s not a fantastic footballer. You see the pass he’s given into Maguire - Maguire wanted it but you have to read the situation.”
On the United performance, Scholes continued: “Right from the first whistle they were never ready for the game. We spoke about the atmosphere and how aggressive it was but there were none of those fans on a football pitch, they can’t affect anything that happens on the pitch.
“If I’m seeing that crowd, I’m thinking ‘what are that team going to play like?’. It’s quite obvious they’re going to be aggressive and get after you, going to tackle you. You need your first touch to be right - De Gea kicks the ball right out of play; Jadon Sancho, sloppy in possession three or four times, bad weight of pass. It set the tone for the rest of the night.
“If you’re a Manchester United player you need to be able to handle atmospheres like this. You’re going to get this all the time as people are desperate to beat Manchester United.”