Manchester United legend Paul Scholes knew former club were doomed when Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini joined

Paul Scholes knew Manchester United were in trouble when the club made its first two signings in the post-Fergie era.

The Old Trafford legend believed neither Juan Mata or Marouane Fellaini were right for his former side and their transfers set ‘alarm bells’ ringing.

MATA FELLAINI - Manchester United legend Paul Scholes knew former club were doomed when Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini joined
Paul Scholes was not impressed by Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata’s arrivals at Manchester United

Following David Moyes’ appointment in 2013 after Sir Alex Ferguson retired, his first move was to raid former club Everton for Belgian midfielder Fellaini for £27.5million – a signing that did not go down well with fans.

And after a poor first five months, the Scot then landed Mata from Chelsea in January in a bid to boost his attack. Spending a club-record £37.1m on a player who had lost his place in the Blues side was questioned at the time, although he soon became a Man United fan-favourite.

But Scholes was not impressed with either signing.

And the midfielder said the club’s demise since Ferguson stepped away can be mostly blamed on not signing ‘Man United players’ and on United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, saying his predecessor David Gill would not have been interested in either Fellaini or Mata.

“When you look five or six years ago when Sir Alex Ferguson left, the only person that’s probably going to get the credit he deserved was David Gill [former chief executive],” Scholes told the Metro.

“He was a football man. From the day he went, as well as Sir Alex, it’s been difficult.

GettyImages 1144141123 1 - Manchester United legend Paul Scholes knew former club were doomed when Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini joined
Ed Woodward has got plenty of stick from Manchester United fans over the club’s recent recruitment
Getty

“I think there were alarm bells straightaway really when David [Moyes] took over and he signed Juan Mata and Fellaini for something like £70m. They’re good players in their own right, but I don’t think they were Manchester United players.

“I don’t think Sir Alex or David Gill would have signed those types of players, so I think from then on, alarm bells have rung and we’re in the position we are now because of buying players who we don’t really think are Man Utd players.

“Ole’s come in and he’s got the opportunity to put that right.”

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Solskjaer will have that great chance to put it right at Old Trafford this weekend when the Red Devils host Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Their old rivals may be eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, and United down in 12th just three points above the relegation zone, but the form book goes out the window for this historic clash.

And Solskjaer believes, despite the gulf between the clubs and their teams’ performances on the pitch this season, his side will have a fighting chance against the high-flying Reds.

“Sometimes we’ve struggled more in games where we’ve had to break teams down,” he told Sky Sports.

“I can’t see Liverpool coming to park the bus – that’s just not in their mentality. So I can see it being an open game, which will suit us.”


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