Manchester United and Bastian Schweinsteiger continue to rumble on through the media, with the player making a statement via his Twitter and Facebook profiles earlier on Wednesday stating that the Old Trafford club would be the last European club he played for, which then makes you wonder whether the United States of America or China would be his next destination. It is clear that the German veteran midfielder does not want to leave the club he signed for little over a year ago, leaving Bayern Munich, a club he had played for and loved for most of his career. United manager Jose Mourinho has told the player he is not in his plans, and the club seems to be finding it hard to get rid of the player and his wage bill. With that not happening, perhaps Schweinsteiger can help United in another area? He clearly loves the club, which can be seen from the statement he made on Wednesday, saying:
“MUFC will be my last club in Europe. I respect other clubs, but Manchester United was the only one which could make me leave FC Bayern München. I will be ready if the team needs me. This is all I can say about the current situation. I want to thank the fans for the amazing support over the recent weeks.”
Warren Joyce has started his Premier League 2 season with the now U23’s in a bit of a dilemma. He does not have a true striker, with James Wilson on his way to Derby County, Will Keane looking for a new club (whether on loan or permanently) and Marcus Rashford part of the first team, which does not help Joyce. The U23’s also do not see to have much experience, and in order to teach players, the experience is key. United have a lot of talent in their U18 and U23 squads, bit with players such as Jesse Lingard now forming a career in the first team, Adnan Januzaj on loan at Sunderland, Andreas Pereira looking for a loan spell and others such as Joe Rothwell and Tyler Blackett leaving the club for football elsewhere, experience is another loss for Warren Joyce. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been training with the U23 squad so far this season after finding himself surplus to requirements within the first team, playing for the U23’s would be beneficial for the player and the squad.
The Premier League 2 rules state that one overage goalkeeper and three overage outfield players can be part of each match squad, which is something that happened last season, and the ones before that. In the run-up to the closure of the summer transfer window in a week’s time, it is understandable that the players on the fringes of the first team had not been playing, as their fitness is something that could stop them signing for a new club this summer, whether on loan or permanently. After the closure of the summer transfer window, Joyce, and his U23 squad may see that the likes of Schweinsteiger, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo among others, may be able to maintain their match fitness by playing U23 football, which will keep them fresh and be able to show the manager what they can do, in order to win back their place, which is something the German seems intent on doing. He did this at Bayern Munich early into his career, and he feels he could do the same again.
It is also understandable as to why Mourinho has told the German that he is not in his plans, he has brought in Paul Pogba and intends to keep Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick in the squad, which gives Schweinsteiger little option other than to be a player sitting on the bench, or even in the stands each matchday. That would be a waste of a player, but it seems to be the option he currently has, which makes playing for Warren Joyce’s side as an overage player a great option. He has the chance to prove his fitness, and with that, show the Portuguese manager what he can do, which could get him back into the pecking order, however unlikely it may seem. At the same time, those playing alongside him can learn from the German, who in his career has won eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokal’s, two DFB-Ligapokal’s, two DFL-Supercup’s, one UEFA Champions League trophy, one UEFA Supercup a FIFA Club World Cup and a FIFA World Cup with Germany in 2014, which makes him a great player to learn from. Imagine how the likes of Matthew Willock, Josh Harrop, James Weir, Axel Tuanzebe, among a few, would feel being able to learn from Schweinsteiger this season, if the player wants to do that, which may well be the question.