Man United legend Paul Scholes hails Christian Eriksen’s intelligence, says Barcelona wondergoal was ‘a miskick’ and describes Erling Haaland as ‘f***ing amazing’ but insists Kylian Mbappe will be better

    Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has hailed Christian Eriksen as the perfect example of an intelligent midfielder.

    The Red Devils icon made his name between 1994 and 2013 as one of the club’s greatest-ever attacking midfielders as his vision and creativity in the middle of the park allowed their flair players to show their quality.

    Eriksen has been praised for his intelligence by Scholes

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    Eriksen has been praised for his intelligence by Scholes

    Manchester United FC: Fans think Paul Scholes could walk into Van Gaal's midfield

    Scholes is regarded as an all-time great for Manchester United for his creative displays in midfield

    Now 47, Scholes was talking to friend and former teammate Gary Neville about what he values in a player and picked out the Danish superstar as the perfect example of what a player in the middle of the park should be doing.

    Asked by Neville what he looks for in a player, Scholes told The Overlap: “The intelligence. Clever players. Clever players with a brain.

    Asked about Eriksen, Scholes said: “Brilliant. The perfect example of a player who plays with intelligence and plays with his brain. He’s just a clever player. He knows where he is on the pitch and he knows where other people are on the pitch.”

    Discussing the tendency for midfield players to pass the ball backwards to their defenders, Scholes added: “That’s the problem I saw.

    “They got beaten by somebody and it’s a bit harsh on Scott [McTominay] and Fred, but they were just back to goal all of the time. You talk about people receiving the ball with their back to goal, it’s the only way that they could go.

    “You should be on the half-turn, so that I can still see you, but I can see my forward as well.

    Scholes believes that certain Man United players are better equipped than others to play on the front foot

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    Scholes believes that certain Man United players are better equipped than others to play on the front foot

    “You see Casemiro do it. Eriksen does it all of the time. You see the goal they scored against Arsenal, Eriksen received it on the half-turn, passed it to Fernandes who was on the half-turn and Rashford scores.

    “Small things like that just annoy me because if you’re playing at Manchester United you should be capable of doing that. You’d expect that.”

    Scholes was asked a number of quick-fire questions and named Liverpool’s Anfield and Newcastle’s St James’ Park as the away grounds that he loved playing at, before making a surprising admission about his famous long-range effort against Barcelona in the Champions League.

    Picking up the ball at Old Trafford in the semi-finals of Europe’s biggest competition 2008, Scholes lashed an effort into the top corner of the net to send them into the final, but admitted that his effort didn’t exactly go as planned.

    Scholes secured a spot in the Champions League final with a stunning goal against Barcelona

    Scholes secured a spot in the Champions League final with a stunning goal against Barcelona

    He said: “It was a miskick. It came off the outside of my foot!

    “You know when you’re trying to hit it that way, with a bit of fade on it, it should go outside of the post and then into the other corner really.

    “I wasn’t thinking of doing that, I was just thinking of hitting the target, to be honest with you, but when it goes towards the goalkeeper and that way, you don’t mean that. No chance.”

    Asked if it was the most important goal that he scored, Scholes said: “It was the most important goal, yeah.”

    Looking forward, football has a number of up-and-coming talents for people to aspire to emulate.

    Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland look like the main contenders to battle it out for the best player in the world tag, but according to Scholes, it’s the Frenchman who is marginally more impressive.

    Scholes has hailed Mbappe as the superior star to Haaland

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    Scholes has hailed Mbappe as the superior star to Haaland

    Scholes said: “I’d go Mbappe. I think there’s more to his game [than Haaland], he’s not just an out-and-out centre-forward, is he?

    “He can go wide, he can dribble past people, he’s quick, he can play one-twos. Look, Haaland is f***ing amazing, don’t get me wrong, but he is a goalscorer, isn’t he?”

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