Bastian Schweinsteiger’s future seems to be in the balance after the German captain refused to comment on the speculation linking him to Manchester United. Speaking to Sky sports after Bayern’s 2-0 victory over Mainz on the final day of the Bundesliga season, Schweinsteiger pointed out that he was under contract with Bayern till 2016. “I’m glad that you asked. I won’t comment on it” said the combative midfielder when queried about the rumours on a potential switch to United.
Earlier, Bayern manager Pep Guardiola, in his press conference, had admitted that Bastian is a part of his plans for the next season but the final decision about his future is in the hands of the midfielder. Louis van Gaal is reportedly keen to link up with his former disciple and speaking to the press on Friday, stated that a holding midfielder is one of his main targets in the upcoming transfer window. United were earlier linked to Ilkay Gundogan, but with reports coming from the Spanish press that the Dortmund man has already agreed on a deal to sign for Barcelona in January 2016 , when the club’s transfer ban lifts, the World Cup winning German skipper looks to be at the top of Van Gaal’s shopping list.
A transfer to United seems like a win-win situation for all parties as Bayern are said to be keen on replacing their ageing squad and reportedly would like to cash in on the 30-year-old. Schweinsteiger would be loved at United and a lucrative pay packet would be another bonus. United for that matter would love to have someone of Schweinsteiger’s experience in the middle of the park and Schweinsteiger is said to have a rosy relationship with Van Gaal, and would know all about the Dutch Manager’s philosophy, as it was Van Gaal who converted Bastian from a left winger to a defensive midfielder. Here we look at how much of an impact Schweinsteiger can make if he signs for United.
The biggest concern for most players making a transition from other leagues to the Premier League, is whether they can cope up with the physical demands of the fast paced football played in the Barclays Premier League. This would certainly be no issue for a battling midfielder like Bastian. He is a real fighter and has good physical strength to go with his finesse in the pitch. The way Schweinsteiger came out on top against the Argentine midfielders in the World Cup final, even after being on the wrong side of their rough treatment, is just the mark of his sheer grit. He ended the game being totally wrecked but on the flip side he had a World Cup winner medal hanging around his neck. That is the kind of commitment which would make him an instant hit in the United midfield.
Schweinsteiger’s versatility is another big plus for any manager seeking balance in his side. He is equally good as a central defensive midfielder or in a slightly advanced role where his shooting prowess can come handy for the side. Which means Bastian can be used either as a replacement for Carrick or along with him in the midfield three, with possibly Herrera occupying the other spot.
Schweinsteiger is a terrific tackler and his football intelligence is next to none. He had a pass completion rate of 88% last season in Bundesliga, only bettered by Michael Carrick, who had 90%, amongst the United midfielders. Although he endured an injury hit season making only 19 appearances in the league that was more down to the lengthy World Cup campaign he had, where he led his country to glory. Schweinsteiger would seamlessly fit into the Van Gaal philosophy and would be a fan favourite at Old Trafford within no time.
No German player has ever played for United first team and the pattern seemed to continue with United reportedly set to miss out on touted transfer targets Hummels and Gundogan, but with Schweinsteiger’s name popping up and further reports intensifying the rumours, Manchester United fans will be hoping to see the champion German midfielder adorn the United shirt.
This article was researched and written by Ashish Krishna. You can follow him on Twitter.