Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has claimed that the Red Devils still have a chance to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season. Erik ten Hag’s side find themselves sixth in the table and will take on fifth-placed Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday, February 11.
Manchester United have experienced an up-and-down season thus far and already trail the top five teams by some distance. However, Scholes has claimed that Ten Hag‘s side still have a chance of making the top four with their experienced players coming back.
The Red Devils have had to deal with persistent injury problems throughout the season which has taken a toll on their performances on the pitch. However, they now have a squad almost fully fit.
Hence, Scholes believes that they can still manage to overturn the points deficit and qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. The former England midfielder told the Premier League Productions, as quoted by Manchester World:
“Top four is still possible. It’s a long way to go to get towards that and if they get beat, it’s 11 points – you think it’s too far. Villa are a good team but I think they’re still capable of going on a run that’s bad that can help United. I think United, with players coming back into the team, I think they can be more consistent now towards the end of the season and I think they can win a lot of games.”
Scholes further spoke about Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for the top four, saying:
“It’s important they are in those Champions League places. I don’t think many people will fancy them to do that, even if they win today it’s five points and Tottenham are going well.
“But I’ve felt, the last two or three weeks especially, with the players back, I still feel they have a chance at top four. I think they will get into it because they have experience coming back into the team.”
Scholes has hailed the young players at Manchester United who have done well of late to inspire the club to somewhat come back to form. He also urged the senior players to make their experience work to help the Red Devils enjoy a solid second half of the season. He added:
“They have a lot of young players and we talk about the three young players [Kobbie Maino, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund], but when you have a Casemiro next to them and [Raphael] Varane coming in with them, it makes a big difference and adds a bit of quality to the team.
“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how they play, sometimes it’s just having those names around you. You think of Casemiro, Real Madrid, and sometimes people look and the teamsheet and think ‘they have a proper team playing today’. It’s all about getting into that Champions League, and today will go a long way to deciding if they can do it.”
Manchester United got the better of Aston Villa earlier in the season when they came back from two goals down at Old Trafford to win 3-2. They have looked like a rejuvenated outfit in recent weeks and will fancy their chances against Unai Emery’s side.
Premier League manager sends transfer message to Manchester United midfielder
Eriksen’s future at Old Trafford has been up in the air with the playmaker falling down the pecking order. As claimed by Metro, Turkish giants Galatasaray were keen on the midfielder in January but the Dane opted to stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place.
However, it has been claimed that the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder could be offloaded by Manchester United in the summer.
Frank has said that Brentford would be happy to welcome Eriksen back if he wants to return to Gtech Community Stadium. He told Tipsbladet, as quoted by Metro:
“He will always be welcome back, Christian – always. I think he knows that. And we know that he had a good time here. I understood well why he went to United back then, and I’ve said that publicly. I also think he’s done well. Of course, he had an injury before Christmas for a while. But if Christian wants, he’s very welcome.”
Eriksen spent six months at Brentford between January 2022 and June 2022. He had returned to football just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest while representing Denmark in the European Championship 2020.
Eriksen scored one goal and provided four assists in 11 games for the Bees. He turned down an offer from them in the summer of 2022, joining Manchester United as a free agent instead.