Scholes, who won the Premier League 11 times under Sir Alex Ferguson, spoke ahead of this weekend's powder keg Manchester derby.
speaking in new book Class of 92: Out of our League, Scholes said: “There needs to be a real step up in quality in England.
"We're linked with big players – Gareth Bale is a top player – but we don't get them now. Not anymore.
"You never see a Lionel Messi coming over here, you never see a Neymar in the Premier League."