'How do you replace Paul Scholes?' pondered Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton, 31, on his Paddy Power blog earlier today, Thursday.
Considering the transfer rumours linking players like Everton Ribeiro, Koke Resurreccion and formerly Ander Herrera to Old Trafford, it is also a question that David Moyes hopes to answer in the current transfer window and it is one that is arguably damaging Manchester United's position in the Premier League.
When looking at the top midfield chance creators in the division, it is not coincidental that the representative players compete in clubs currently residing in the top four positions.
|David Silva||Man City||49|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||47|
When appraising United's apparent transfer targets, though, Barton is most unimpressed, yet one name stands out - and it could be the heir to the boots vacated by Scholes: Ilkay Gundogan.
'It’s all a bit ‘square pegs in round holes’ but when you’re Manchester United it doesn’t need to be that way. There’s plenty of players who would be perfect square pegs in square holes. If you’re looking for a Scholes type player, why not go after Ilkay Gundogan at Dortmund? He’s not Scholes but he’s as near as you’re going to get to him.
'There are rumours of Koke. a top young player but is he what United need? I don’t think it is. They need a more combative version of Carrick – like City have with Fernandinho and Yaya Toure. Getting Marco Reus would be mouth-watering, but is it really addressing the main issue? I’m not convinced.'
Barton then ominously concluded: 'This is a big January for Moyes at Manchester United. The big question is, will it be his first and last?'
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße