Bastian Schweinsteiger hasn’t had the greatest twelve months. His first year at Manchester United was blighted by injury, with the German seemingly becoming more notable for his timely tweets and Instagram posts when his teammates had their birthdays than anything he did in a red shirt.
Reports surfaced in The Guardian amongst others at the end of last season that Schweinsteiger’s special treatment, flying in and out of Manchester for games whilst injured went down less than well with the rest of his United teammates, and Jose Mourinho has ordered the former captain of the German national side to train with the club’s U23’s, as per the Manchester Evening News. As such, an exit from Old Trafford for Schweinsteiger looks inevitable, but it appears that he won’t be afforded a route back to his former club, whatever happens.
The Mirror carry quotes from Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti, who took over the reins from Pep Guardiola this summer as the latter moved across to Manchester City.
When asked about the player, the former Chelsea boss had this to say: “In football there is no if. Schweinsteiger is not in our ideas.”
This hardly represents a shock, given that Bayern were happy to sell their captain to United for a discounted fee last summer presumably as they knew that his fitness was starting to become a major issue, as Louis Van Gaal discovered to his detriment last season. But it doesn’t help Mourinho at all, with the Portuguese needing to remove one midfielder from his squad in order to maintain a healthy balance with Paul Pogba still seemingly inbound this summer.
It’s a huge shame that Schweinsteiger is likely to leave United in such an undignified manner, as he provoked plenty of affection from the club’s fanbase when his signing was made official last July. The roars of Deustcher Fussball Meister at Old Trafford that greeted his competitive debut as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in the opening Premier League fixture of last season were filled with affection and admiration, but if there is to be one fall-guy in midfield this summer, then it surely must be Schweinsteiger. Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick all appear to have a role to play under Mourinho, with Schweinsteiger’s susceptibility to injury and gigantic wages counting against the German in a big way.
Whilst it will be sad to see him leave, this is the sort of tough decision that Mourinho was hired to make, and if looked at purely from a footballing perspective, it’s tough to argue against Schweinsteiger’s inevitable Old Trafford exit.