Manchester United: Injury scare for attacker; Tottenham move for midfielder blocked; Schweinsteiger latest
Manchester United had a very quiet transfer deadline day, all things considered, with their main activity concerning the loaning out of young players rather than making any big moves for big names. The only transfer they had been linked with was the signing of Monaco right-back Fabinho, but that move never gathered any pace.
United were able to get rid of a few academy products though, trimming the size of their squad considerably. James Weir departed for Hull, Dean Henderson was loaned to Grimsby, the day after Will Keane was sold, also to Hull City.
The sale of these players meant that all players who graduated from the academy to the first team squad under Louis van Gaal have now been sold by Mourinho, with the exception of Marcus Rashford. The new manager has certainly put his stamp on the squad, and effectively confirmed he will not be focusing on developing youth.
But seeing as these youngsters were unlikely to have played this season anyway, the most relevant news to Red Devils fans actually concerns transfers that didn’t happen, after a potential transfer to Tottenham for Morgan Schneiderlin was blocked by Jose Mourinho.
Schneiderlin has never really settled in at Manchester United, and his failure to establish himself in the side has led to the Frenchman only playing five minutes of first team action so far this campaign.
But with a busy season ahead, where Mourinho must balance his squad between a possible Premier League title challenge and a busy Europa League campaign, the Portuguese decided that Schneiderlin must remain in the side for depth purposes.
It is slightly strange that Schneiderlin, who cost £30 million last summer, has been relegated to such a lowly position at Old Trafford. He may not be the most exciting player, but he was critical for the Saints in their rise from League One to the upper end of the Premier League, and United actually had a higher win rate with him in the side than without last season.
His calming presence and strong tackling would appear to make him the perfect partner for Paul Pogba, but it appears that Mourinho prefers Michael Carrick and, remarkably, Marouane Fellaini in his position. Time will tell if keeping Schneiderlin works out for United.
Another midfielder who Mourinho certainly didn’t want, but is remaining at the club is Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Schweinsteiger made his last ever appearance for Germany last night, but he hopes he will have a few more in the tank for United, saying that he is not ready to give up on his career at Old Trafford.
New York City FC, owned by the same group as rivals Manchester City, could be a destination for Schweinsteiger, and he has admitted he is interested in the move, but he has said he wants to remain at Old Trafford for the time being.
He is unlikely to play, though, and whilst it is admirable that he wishes to fight for his place, the huge amount of injuries over his career has dramatically affected his ability to get around the pitch, and this makes it almost impossible for him to return to the fold under Mourinho.
Schweinsteiger played in a 2-0 win for Germany over Finland last night, and that wasn’t the only international action taking place on deadline day. Armenia were beaten 3-0 by the Czech Republic, and United fans will be concerned that Henrikh Mkhitaryan was forced off with what appeared to be a rib injury in the first half.
Although yet to start a game for United, Mkhitaryan is part of Mourinho’s long term plans, and is being eased into the side to eventually replace Juan Mata. However, injury could set back his career at Old Trafford, and he is now a fitness doubt for the Manchester derby, which takes place in a week and a half.
There are suggestions that the injury is not serious, but it will be a worry for Mourinho and potentially for the long term future of the player, who would want to settle in England quickly. He has the talent to be an exceptional attacking force for the Red Devils, and they will miss his presence, even from the bench, if he is unavailable against Manchester City.
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