Of all the additions made so far in this transfer window, Bastian Schweinsteiger is both the most well-known and the most experienced of the lot. And the youngest addition to the squad last summer believes that the Germans enforcer could well prove to be the key to getting Manchester United back on the trophy trail following two years in the wilderness.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Shaw stated he believed the German – signed for a mere £13.3 million from Bayern Munich – could be vital to the fortunes of Manchester United this season, and those beyond.
“He’s a massive legend. For someone with that much experience to come into the team will be vital to help us push for some trophies this season.
“He’s one of the most humble guys I’ve come across. He’s not too loud and he’s quite funny at the same time. It’s nice to have a German around in the dressing room.”
Schweinsteiger’s experience isn’t just useful on the pitch, but it can have a great effect off it too. What he has achieved in his illustrious career so far is nothing short of incredible, and the knowledge he will have taken away from these experiences can be passed on throughout both the first team and the youth system. Though what we as fans will see is what he can do on the field.
There are one or two concerns surrounding the midfielder. His fitness has been somewhat sketchy in recent season’s – he missed a large portion of Bayern’s 2014/15 campaign with injury. At the age of 31 he is also no spring chicken, and realistically there are only three-four season’s left in the tank. But to focus on the small points like age and one season injured is petty and simply looking for areas to criticise, in Schweinsteiger Manchester United have bagged themselves a bargain.
Preseason was a glimpse of what can be expected from him. Though he was limited to 45 minute ‘cameos’, he lay on show his many talents. Tough tackling and no-nonsense when required, and a magnificent range of passing comparable to that of Paul Scholes or Michael Carrick. Though he may not have scored any in tour, he also isn’t shy in front of goal, an asset that has been lacking for some time now.
There will, as is the case with all new signings, be a period of adaptation. A new league and new surroundings, with new team mates with which to gel, can take time to adjust to and therefore provide a wait for any effects to become apparent. A full preseason will certainly have helped, and also the fact that the German league is not too dissimilar to the Premier League mean the waiting may not be too long.
Schweinsteiger is seen by some as the biggest risk bought this summer, not for any malicious reason, but based on the points I addressed earlier. However, those I gave presented further on serve to disprove the doubting minority. Schweinsteiger is as dependable as they come, and his obvious experience will be invaluable as the season progresses. I, for one, agree with Luke Shaw, Schweinsteiger can be the difference, I just hope it is sooner rather than later.