Manchester United have announced that midfielder Paul Scholes has reconsidered his decision to stay away from playing football professional, as he returns to boost the club’s midfield.

The Red Devils have had trouble in their engine room with Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher sidelined, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson even resorted to playing Wayne Rooney in midfield at one point during the season.

The veteran midfielder now returns to the squad, and it has been announced that he will go straight to the bench in the upcoming blockbuster FA Cup clash against Manchester City.

A statement on the club’s official website reads: “Paul Scholes has rejoined the playing staff at Manchester United for the remainder of the season with immediate effect, after approaching [manager] Sir Alex Ferguson to reverse his decision, made at the end of last season, to retire.

“He has gone straight onto the bench for this afternoon’s FA Cup third round tie against Manchester City.”

Sir Alex has expressed his happiness following the boosting of numbers in the midfield area while being able to add an experienced United player back to the squad.

“It’s fantastic that Paul has made this decision,” he said. “It’s always sad to see great players end their careers, but especially so when they do it early. “But he has kept himself in great shape and I always felt that he had another season in him. It’s terrific to have him back.”

For his part, Scholes added: “I’ve been pretty clear since I stopped playing that I miss it. I’m delighted the manager feels I can still make a contribution to the team and I’m looking forward to playing my part in trying to bring more success to this great club.”

Scholes made 676 appearances for Manchester United in his first stint at Old Trafford, and now returns to ply his trade under Sir Alex once

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