Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola issued something of a back-handed compliment about departing midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger when the German signed for Manchester United last summer, suggesting he’d been unfit for three years, while fearing injuries could ruin his spell at Old Trafford.
Many suggested his words came from bitterness at the time, but with Schweinsteiger capping a poor debut season with a knee ligament injury, Guardiola may have been right.
Flop of the season contender?
The German international’s move to Manchester United was met with shock as well as excitement, but eight months later and supporters have been left disappointed. Injuries have reared their ugly head, and even with manager Louis van Gaal offering the experienced midfielder a place on the bench to aid in his recovery, he’s still picking up problems somewhat innocuously. Schweinsteiger has lasted a full 90 minutes in only eight Premier League games this season.
His form has been criticised too. Given the magic he’d showcased for former side Bayern Munich, many believed Schweinsteiger would control the midfield and create numerous chances for the forwards. But in truth, the physical and intensive play has seen the deep-lying playmaker struggle. Known as a player with high energy level, Schweinsteiger look like he can hardly keep up at times, and he’s not having the desired effect in the final third as many would have hoped.
Do Manchester United need to replace him?
Signed for around £15M on a three-year deal, the 31-year-old could now be missing for the entire summer and 2016/17 pre-season. The former Bayern Munich isn’t getting any younger, and his injury problems are only likely to exacerbate with age. It would be a big surprise to see him at Manchester United in the final year of his contract, and the hierarchy have a big decision to make on his long-term future this summer.
Bayern Munich clearly felt they wouldn’t miss out without him, which was the cause of a lot of controversy given another long-serving legend in Toni Kroos had left the club a year previously, but the comments made about Schweinsteiger have been proven to be true. Guardiola warned Manchester United that the talented midfielder doesn’t come without flaws, hence why he was allowed to leave the Allianz-Arena, and now the Red Devils have a quandary.
Manager Louis van Gaal is expected to leave in the summer, and he was princely the reason why Schweinsteiger exited the club. Should the Dutch coach leave Manchester United at the end of the season, Schweinsteiger’s future will be shrouded in more mystery.