Wilkins hails return of Scholes
09/01/2012 13:08 +0100
Scholes called time on his playing career at the end of last season only to reverse that decision at the weekend after admitting to manager Sir Alex Ferguson he regretted stepping down.
The 37-year-old made a 30-minute cameo during Sunday's Manchester derby at Etihad Stadium as United beat local rivals City 3-2 to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Scholes was partly responsible for Sergio Aguero's goal as City threatened a comeback - but Ferguson said after the game he was delighted by his return.
Sky Sports pundit Wilkins believes the midfielder's comeback could not have come at a better time for the Red Devils, with Premier League title rivals City having recently lost key man Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations.
"It's the equivalent of getting a £25million player in January," Wilkins told Sky Sports Radio. "OK, he came on yesterday and gave the second goal away. But the peace of mind he gave the players...When Paul Scholes comes into the field of play, and I think Sir Alex will use him sparingly, he gives them a piece of mind on the pitch and you can't buy that.
"He had more touches of the ball in 30 minutes than every Manchester City player and all but two of the Manchester United players. It was so evident that when on the pitch, nobody could give him the ball quick enough.
"He adds a serenity to Manchester United and I think that's very evident. When he wasn't there there wasn't that serenity - they played with breakneck speed from minute one to minute 90.
"As big a problem as Manchester City have in losing Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations, Manchester United have just gained a world-class footballer."