Ryan Giggs wishes his old mate Paul Scholes had not quit in the summer – because he knows Manchester United will never find another like him.
Whilst 37-year-old Giggs has already embarked on yet another campaign, Scholes is waiting for a planned coaching role to be defined.
In the aftermath of last season’s Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, Scholes decided he was no longer contributing to the United cause in a manner he felt was appropriate.
Most of his team-mates disagreed, Giggs among them, and Sir Alex Ferguson embarked on a fruitless search for a replacement playmaker who could take on the responsibility Scholes carried for so long.
Giggs felt it was almost a pointless search. He knows someone of Scholes’ ability simply cannot be replaced.
“Will you get another Paul Scholes?” he said during an exclusive interview with MUTV. “No. Never. Not in a million years.
“Getting someone in like for like is impossible. But the club has to go on. We have to evolve. That is the Manchester United way.”
Scholes did not ask Giggs for advice prior to making his final decision, and the Welshman did not feel it right to offer any, knowing his long-time team-mate has such clarity of thought.
However, he does feel the former England star was basing his decision on the standards he set himself rather than those others produce.
“You want to perform at a high level because of the expectations you have for yourself,” said Giggs.
“If you drop slightly below, you feel you are not contributing to the team.
“I told him he was controlling most of the games he played in, that is what he was brilliant at, but the longer it went on, I got the feeling he was going to call it a day.
“I would never try and change his mind but I wish he had carried on because he could have done it.”
Giggs has no hesitation in declaring Scholes to be his favourite team-mate: “In training, you just couldn’t get near him. It was a joy to watch.”
Now though, a career in coaching beckons, with Giggs believing his friend, notoriously economic with words, will be an ideal tutor.
“Five years ago, if you had said coaching to Scholesy, he would have said ‘no chance’,” he said.
“But gradually, as he did his badges and got to the end of his career, you could see him change.
“He is a clever lad and will instantly demand respect from young players coming through.
“Just imagine have Paul telling you what to do? If you don’t understand, he will demonstrate. He can do everything with a ball.”