There’ll never be another Paul Scholes but Manchester United can replace him, claims former teammate Nicky Butt

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester United will never find another Paul Scholes, but they will be able to replace him, insists former Red Nicky Butt.

The ex-England international and pivotal member of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering 1990s youth squad played alongside Scholes in midfield for 12 years.

And after coming through United’s ranks with Scholes, Butt believes that the manager will be able to cope with the loss of the midfield mastermind when he eventually hangs up his boots (for good).

“I think it’s always a worry when such a great player is coming to the end of his career,” Butt said. “We’ve seen it when Bryan Robson and Roy [Keane] left as well.

“All these players come to an end and you do worry how we’re going to replace them but the one thing about Manchester United and the manager is he does find them.

“He’ll never find another Scholes and will never find another Keane but he will find players to come into the squad and make whatever shirt number they wear their own and be their own player in their own right.”

Butt was speaking on BBC Radio Manchester’s Red Wednesday and claimed that his old boss was renowned for – replacing the best, with better.

“That’s what Sir Alex is excellent at doing and I’m sure he’s got one or two up his sleeve for the next couple of years,” Butt added.

“They will be massive boots to fill, the same as with Eric Cantona, but somehow he’s replaced them with a different kind of player who are top drawer in their own right.”

Scholes has been used sparingly since announcing his retirement U-turn in Janurary, but his roles have been United’s saving grace at times.

In the scrappy 3-2 win against Southampton in their last Premier League tie, United brought the 37-year-old on in the second-half and eventually found a winner through Robin van Persie – leaving Fergie to heap praise on his veteran game changer.

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