Paul Scholes has claimed that Manchester United are struggling so badly at the moment that even if Barcelona superstar moved to Old Trafford he would find it difficult to thrive under Jose Mourinho.
Former midfield maestro Scholes, who won a sensational 11 Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson, has been one of Mourinho’s most vocal critics over recent years.
Now, in a hard-hitting interview with ESPN the 43-year-old revealed that it is not a lack of quality within the Manchester United squad that is causing his former club their problems, but rather a lack of confidence – which Scholes believes is being affected by their manager.
“It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles,” Scholes said.
“I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team.
“I hate going back and saying ‘when we played, we did this and we did that’, but I look at the current squad of players and 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 and also a controlling midfield player.
“I’m thinking more of a Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard or David Silva. We have Jesse Lingard who, on his day, can be that type of player, but you never really know what his best position is.
“Juan Mata has those type of qualities but the manager plays him wide on the right-hand side and he’s never going to have the legs to play that position. I’ve been there, being put out wide, and you hate it. You want to get into the middle of the pitch where things are happening and pace isn’t as vital.
“The rest of the United team is OK. Martial and Rashford, two really talented players, they need to develop their confidence. It scares me that these really talented players will be sold and be brilliant for another club. I could see that happening with Martial.
“It’s difficult for him and Rashford to find some confidence because they come in for a game, they might not have the best game and then they’re out for three or four matches.
“If the team don’t play well then they’re brought back in for an hour, then left out. You never get consistency or a run of performances. That’s frustrating. They look like wingers and they’re getting slagged off by the manager.”