Over the last decade or so a trend has bucked that European nations have expressed their play, style and culture through their central midfielders. When you look at England with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Italy with Andrea Pirlo, France with Zinedine Zidane, Spain with Xavi and Germany’s answer? Bastian Schweinsteiger. In the last week, reports have circulated that Louis Van Gaal is interested in taking the German from Bayern Munich in what would be his second signing of the transfer window.
In terms of a high profile signing, they wouldn’t come much bigger than the World Cup winner. He wouldn’t necessarily be an addition purely for his on the field involvement, but a transfer based on it’s influence and power on what it would do off it too. It would be a real morale booster for the Red Devils if they could attract a player of Schweinsteiger’s stature. Now that Manchester United have achieved that Champions League place that was widely so expected of them, capturing a world renowned midfielder could be what is needed for them.
The German would be 31 when the season starts, as he celebrates his birthday on the 1st August. He’s certainly not young, but his experience should be an asset to the team. Having captained Bayern Munich and Germany, his leadership skills are evidently clear for all to see. It would give them such a boost if he is to join, and it would definitely show their intent to challenge for the title this time around, and challenge in Europe once more. It would show that United are beginning to get their style back that they were renowned for under Sir Alex, and that they have lacked under David Moyes and van Gaal.
His trophy cabinet is one that can only be admired, and he has flourished in German football. In an age now where we seem to have seen the last of one club players, it was inevitable that he was bound to leave the Allianz at some stage, and also with Bayern’s recent transfer policy of young players, Schweinsteiger could very well be leaving the Munich club.
The speculation regarding the possibility comes side by side with the Red Devil’s interest in Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, with Van Gaal apparently waiting on Schweinsteiger’s decision before confirming the French international who is also being chased by Arsenal.
If Schweinsteiger is to join, his abilities stretch far more than just leadership and experience. The eight times Bundesliga winner would bring his strength in breaking up play and distributing the ball, aswell as posing a goalscoring threat from deep. The central midfield hole has never really been resolved since Ferguson left. With Wayne Rooney having to drop back into the position for too much of last season, a central midfielder is certainly high up on Van Gaal’s shopping list. Marouane Fellaini had a very successful second half of last season, and Daley Blind and Ander Herrera showed promise. None of the three have fully cemented themselves and convinced that they are the answer though, so an addition into the squad should provide some healthy competition for a spot in the starting 11.
Schweinsteiger missed the first part of the season through injury, but then made 20 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 5 goals. He achieved a highly impressive 88% pass accuracy, and was an integral part of their title winning season late on.
Let’s not fool ourselves, the German midfielder wouldn’t be a key part to Manchester United’s revival attempts next year. Just like any ageing footballer, he’s not the player that he once was. Having said that, he would still be a huge marquee signing for the North-West giants, and would prove their ambitions with van Gaal. He would be a fantastic addition for United and the Premier League, but the chances of him joining seem to be slimming with the potential Schneiderlin deal gathering pace. Whatever happens, Schweinsteiger would be a hugely worthwhile purchase, and at the moment, no other clubs stand inbetween Manchester United and their man.[separator type=”thin”]
Shirts from £15 in @CampoRetro’s SALE, practically a steal and perfect for the summer! Go http://bit.ly/1CSHHj7