Manchester United have been so desperate to find Paul Scholes’ replacement that every talented hopeful that comes along is saddled with the expectation of filling in a man who played 700 games for United, won every club accolade possible, and is still playing.
For the boffins, Scholes marked his 700th appearance with a goal, just as he did his 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th, and 500th.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been shopping for Scholes’ replacement for some time now and while the rest of club football across Europe have gone with Spanish midfielders, Fergie remains resolutely British at the heart of his team. And maybe a touch of Brazilian flair.
The latest player to don the Scholes mantle is 18-year old Nick Powell, picked up from Crewe for £6million.
It did not help Powell’s case that he scored a scorcher on debut, the exact kind of goal that Paul Scholes is famous for – a 20-yard scorcher into the corner.
Fergie himself has decided to test Powell’s mental strength by drawing a Scholes comparison.
“The boy is going to be a really good player, who we hope is going to fill Paul Scholes's boots,” said Ferguson.
“He's got terrific vision, a good temperament, two great feet, he's quick and is a great striker of the ball.”
However, the Stretford End will do well to temper their anticipation with the memory of another midfielder who only a few seasons ago was, well, being called the next Scholes.
Who? Darron Gibson. Why? Well he came on and scored a scorcher, one even more impressive than Powell’s strike. Against Bayern Munich no less.
And then scored several more
You need more than a great striking foot to cut it as Old Trafford’s next Paul Scholes.
That is where Gibson fell short. Now he is at Everton.
It’s Powell’s turn now.
THE NEXT SCHOLES?
REMEMBER THE LAST ONE?