Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has slammed Daley Blind and Antonio Valencia following their performance against Manchester City in their derby defeat at Old Trafford. Blind partnered Eric Bailly at the back while Valencia was used at right-back, ahead of Matteo Darmian, who is yet to get a look-in this season.
The former United midfielder believes that Blind does not have the physicality to survive in the Premier League and Chris Smalling should be the man to partner Bailly in the long term, having played regularly for the Red Devils over the past few seasons. Smalling has found himself on the bench since Jose Mourinho's arrival and Scholes insists that Blind's qualities are better suited as a defensive midfielder than at the back.
For Valencia, the former midfielder is not convinced by his defensive acumen as he is not primarily a defender and would rather prefer the likes of Darmian to come into the fray. The Red Devils lost the fixture 2-1 owing to goals by Kevin de Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho while Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled one back for Mourinho's side before the end of the first half. The hosts were denied a penalty after Claudio Bravo's tackle on Wayne Rooney inside the box, which Mourinho cited in his post match press conference.
"Blind is a better defensive midfielder for United than he is a centre-back but he's been an excellent partner for Eric Bailly so far this season, hence why Chris Smalling is not in the team at the moment yet he's not won everybody over yet," said Scholes, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"Why? Because he's physically limited in the Premier League and people are expecting him to be found at some point, I suppose I still am, and against City he was found wanting against a dynamic Kevin de Bruyne. I would rather see Smalling partner Bailly in the long-term."
"As for Valencia, he's not a right-back. He never will be, regardless of how good his form is at any one time. But Matteo Darmian hasn't got a sniff yet and there are different questions to ask about whether Timothy Fosu-Mensah is ready to start right there, so it's a more difficult situation."