With the arrival of Paul Pogba at Old Trafford edging closer each day, it leaves José Mourinho with a wealth of options in midfield including Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and possibly even Daley Blind. One or two players are expected to be let go as a result, and Bastian Schweinsteiger is like to be the biggest victim of the mooted clear out.
Schweinsteiger was signed only last summer by Louis van Gaal, much to the excitement of Manchester United fans, in what looked to be a bargain price of just £6 million. Pep Guardiola was happy to let the Bayern Munich and Germany legend depart though, primarily due to concerns about the 32-year-old’s fitness.
Unfortunately, those concerns were realised as the player struggled to stay fit and was kept out of Van Gaal’s team for long periods because of persistent injuries.
Despite recent form, Schweinsteiger is one of those players that is loved by football fans around the world. He has been an incredible leader over the years and, at his peak, was one of the most complete central midfielders in football over the last 20 years.
The German has enjoyed a successful and lengthy career, and clocked up plenty of miles along the way. The latter is no surprise considering his typically energetic and committed performances over the years for both Bayern Munich and Germany, and everyone will recall his incredible performance for Germany in their 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina.
Sadly, that has probably been the last truly great performance by Schweinsteiger; however, despite this, he still holds a special place in United fans’ hearts and many believe his experience and leadership could still be a vital asset to the squad.
José Mourinho sees differently for understandable reasons as United need a squad of fully fit players ready to go month after month. The club’s treatment of Schweinsteiger is a different matter though. In fact, it has been quite disrespectful at times as Bastian’s brother, Tobi, hinted at with his tweet of “no respect” on Monday evening. It really should have been handled better.
United and Mourinho have made no secret that Schweinsteiger is up for sale with his locker being cleared out and the German forced to train with the U23s. Perhaps it is not as bad as Van Gaal’s treatment of Victor Valdes, but Schweinsteiger has done nothing to deserve being cast aside like a piece of rubbish.
There is a general ‘feel good’ factor around Old Trafford that the club will be challenging at the top once again under Mourinho given the huge summer arrivals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly and, most significantly, the impending arrival of Paul Pogba. However, some United fans are disappointed about Mourinho’s treatment of their favourite veteran.
There is a good level of optimism among the United faithful about Mourinho too but, like any other manager, even Ferguson, some of his decisions will be examined and criticised even at this early stage.
It is understood Bayern Munich are open to the possibility of Schweinsteiger returning to the club.
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Area