Manchester United 3 Bolton Wanderers 0: Charlton upbeat about champions’ hopes thanks to Scholes

Sir Bobby Charlton has labelled the return of Manchester United Paul Scholes as one of the best bits of news he has had.

If Scholes’s retirement U-turn last week at the age of 37 was remarkable, that he should score on his return to Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting line-up in this win over Bolton was truly amazing.

After all, the midfielder only found the net once last season, when he made 33 appearances.

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But, in a period where it seems the clock is being turned back with old favourites gracing the Premier League stage once more, Charlton believes Scholes’s comeback could turn out to be crucial for the champions.

“I have been more upbeat since I heard about Paul Scholes returning to the squad,” he said.

“It is one of the best pieces of news I have ever had.

“He is a sensational footballer and we are very lucky to have him.

“Maybe the one thing Sir Alex (Ferguson) had given a bit of thought to was that we needed a creative player in midfield.

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“Suddenly there is a knock on the door and it is Paul Scholes saying he wants to play again.

“Alex must have thought it was Christmas all over again.”

Ferguson has detected some negativity from the media to Scholes’s return.

In a few quarters this is true, yet even those who are delighted to see the former England man back wearing the No 22 shirt he first adorned as a young player breaking through the ranks, accept it is a sticking plaster move until a more longer-term central midfield option is found.

And, in any case, what do opinions in the press matter when those Scholes is performing alongside welcome his presence without reservation.

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“Scholesy is a dinosaur,” said Patrice Evra. The boss said that about him, Giggsy, (Gary) Neville and (Edwin) van der Sar.

“Scholesy should never stop. Now the manager gave a gift to us because it looked like he never stopped. I am so happy he is back. We need a player like that if we want to win the league.”

Typically, despite his goalscoring feats and the general interest surrounding his return to United duty, Scholes has steered clear of offering a public opinion, even to his team-mates.

“Someone just asked me if he had said anything about his goal,” said Michael Carrick. “I said ‘you don’t know Scholesy’.”

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Carrick has more reason than most to be thankful for Scholes’s presence as it will take some weight off him in central midfield.

However, the 30-year-old is in his best form of the season, scoring a peach of a goal with a left-footed curling strike to wrap up victory after Danny Welbeck had doubled United’s lead.

It meant United could afford a generally disappointing performance from Wayne Rooney, who had a penalty saved and missed what appeared to be a simple second-half chance.

For all Scholes’s massive impact, man of the match was Antonio Valencia, who after a period as stand-in right-back is now doing what he does best, terrorising defenders from his wing station.

“It was like he had a motor,” said Evra. “He was unbelievable.

“The left-back of Bolton must have a muscle problem after the game because Antonio was so powerful. It is great to see he is back.”