Another ageing European star has decided to play out his twilight years in the MLS after German playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger joined MLS outfit Chicago Fire from Manchester United.
The 32-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Fire, reported to be worth £3.6million. The deal brings an end to an uncomfortable two years at Manchester United.
Didn’t quite work out at Manchester United
Schweinsteiger was in decline when he joined United from Bayern Munich in 2015. Then Bayern boss Pep Guardiola could see it, even if there were questions about the sale of one of German football’s most lauded players in recent years.
Schweinsteiger had suffered injuries in the tail end of his Bayern career and there were question marks over his fitness. The former Germany international did not exactly enjoy a great career at United, making just 18 appearances for the Red Devils.
In fact, the arrival as United boss of Jose Mourinho last summer saw him frozen out the squad completely. The treatment of the former Bayern star was rightfully questioned by some. The veteran star was reported to have done everything he could to earn a place back in the Red Devils squad.
However, Mourinho never seemed to fancy Schweinsteiger and there was no way back for the midfield. The only surprise was that it took him so long to leave United.
Football intelligence his main asset
Bastian Schweinsteiger is a clever footballer and those brains will serve him well in the MLS. His style of play may be energetic, but his football intelligence has always been his main asset.
He is not getting any younger, I mean who is? MLS is a physically demanding league, even if the standard of football is not up some of Europe’s top leagues. However, due to his football brain, he will probably fairer better than some of the ageing stars that have appeared in the league previously.
Schweinsteiger may have only a signed a one-year deal with the Fire, but I can see him playing on for a long time to come.
The German star stated last year that he would never play for another European club after United. That meant the move to MLS was always on the cards. It was either the MLS or the Chinese Super League, where no doubt he could also earn big money.
If it does not work out for him in Chicago, then I am sure he will be able to earn a lucrative deal to play in the Far East, as he is still a big name footballer in every sense of the word.
A good move for everybody
Schweinsteiger now looks set to make his Chicago Fire debut against Montreal Impact, in a game that his team are odds of 17/20 to win.
Signing Schweinsteiger is a coup for the Fire and the MLS. The MLS has been accused of being a glorified retirement home for European players getting on in years.
However, a number of those European stars have struggled to make an impact on the league, think Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard.
Schweinsteiger will be hoping to be more of a success than the aforementioned English duo. For the German, the switch represents a chance to play football again and of course, there is the added bonus of a lucrative short-term contract.
The MLS is developing and signing a player of the calibre of Schweinsteiger, who is after all only 32 is a positive I believe. The Germany international will pull in crowds for games, as his arrival has created huge interest amongst the Chicago fans and media.
Schweinsteiger is not going to help the Fire win the World Cup, as one rather misinformed reporter believed at the German’s first press conference on Wednesday night.
However, all-in-all I do believe the move is of benefit to everybody and Schweinsteiger may just be a bigger success than some of his European predecessors.
Will Bastian Schweinsteiger be a success in the MLS?
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