In a move that should prompt all of us to check the sky for flying pigs, Bastian Schweinsteiger, the forgotten man of Manchester United, is finally set to make an appearance this season.
This according to Sky Sports, who claim that not only might Schweinsteiger feature at some point against West Ham in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, but he may actually start the match.
Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are both suspeneded for the game, therefore the former Bayern Munich midfielder could be elevated to a starter despite being told previously that he would not play for the club again.
The former German international was almost immediately banished in the summer by manager José Mourinho. Linked with a move away from Old Trafford through the transfer window after just one year in England, Schweinsteiger stuck to his guns and remained at the club determined to force his way into Mourinho’s plans.
However, he was ordered to train away for the first team – a decision that Mourinho only went back on in the past few weeks.
The 32-year-old was named on the substitutes’ bench for Man United’s Premier League clash, also against West Ham, last weekend but there was a suspicion at the time that was simply about making up the numbers.
Apparently, this was not the case and Schweinsteiger could make his long-awaited first appearance under Mourinho against the Hammers as the side look to join Liverpool and Hull in the semi-finals.
The Sky report does make the point that the player’s fitness could yet be an issue – Michael Carrick could get the nod if Mourinho feels that Schweinsteiger is not 100%ready to play.
How his sudden reappearance in the first team would affect a potential January exit is not totally clear at this time, but Mourinho’s stance on that matter is not likely to have softened and he will probably not be a Man United player by the end of the winter transfer window.