Louis van Gaal has admitted that former Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin still has to improve before making his mark as a top quality player for United.
This is in spite of the Frenchman being a seasoned Premier League player after racking up nearly 100 League appearances at the Saints.
The midfielder joined Manchester United from Southampton for a fee of around £24m, where he spent seven years helping the side raise from League One, and may make his first return to St Mary’s since the switch.
Schneiderlin began the season in impressive form, but in recent matches against Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven, has lost his place in the side with van Gaal favouring the experience of Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger in his place.
However, United’s manager is confident that Schneiderlin will improve as the season progresses, while also highlighting that the Frenchman has played more than Champions League winners Carrick and Schweinsteiger this season.
“For a player from Southampton, it is a big step to move to Manchester United and get used to how we prepare,” said van Gaal to the Daily Mail. “Very few teams play or prepare for matches in the way we do. That is a part of the procedure.”
“He is doing very well and I expect he shall improve every week. It is not always easy but he is coping with that because he is a thinker. When you think about the game it is easier to cope,” the Dutchman explained.
Schneiderlin’s addition to the squad has given van Gaal the option to rotate his midfield on an almost weekly basis, using the experience that Carrick and World Cup winner Schweinsteiger provide, but also the creativity that Ander Herrera can provide when dropping deeper.