Whenever a new manager is brought into a football club, there’s often a chance for players who didn’t feel like they were understood by their previous boss to impress, and show to their new taskmaster that they can be a big part of their plans. Ander Herrera, for example, spent much of last season on the fringes of Manchester United’s first team under Louis van Gaal, and wasn’t considered a part of the Dutchman’s best side, but under Jose Mourinho, the Spaniard has become a key part of United’s midfield. His ability to sit deep, break up opposition play and move the ball quickly has allowed Paul Pogba more freedom with his positioning, which has helped on several occasions this season.
Of course, there are also players who haven’t benefitted from Mourinho’s appointment. Club captain Wayne Rooney has only started two of United’s last seven matches, including the 1-3 victory over Northampton Town in the EFL Cup and the 4-1 victory over Fenerbahce in the Europa League; neither game was of great consequence and they aptly demonstrated how Mourinho viewed the 31- year old as a player who wasn’t a big part of his plans.
Matteo Darmian and Michael Carrick could add themselves onto that list, too, alongside Morgan Scheiderlin. Bought from Southampton in 2015 by Van Gaal for £24m, the Frenchman made 39 appearances in all competitions last season for the club, scoring one goal. So far, Schneiderlin has managed five minutes of Premier League action and made just three appearances since Mourinho took over which is poor for a player who reportedly earns £100,000 a week. Given that he had also fallen out of favour towards the end of Van Gaal’s time at the club, it’s fair to say that Schneiderlin is likely less-than happy about his current predicament at Old Trafford, and reports are swirling that he could be on his way out of the club.
The Sun are reporting that Mourinho doesn’t rate the Frenchman, and would be happy to let him leave. Whilst the article could well be an accurate barometer of Schneiderlin’s desire to leave the club for first-team football, given his limited opportunities this season, it doesn’t offer a destination or any concrete information on a potential exit.
Given that Marouane Fellaini is reportedly injured after David Luiz’s horror tackle against Chelsea on Sunday, and with United still to play four games between now and the next international break, there’s actually every chance that Schneiderlin could come into the side and make a mark. His Belgian colleague has been less-than stellar in recent weeks, and there’s certainly a route back into the first team if the former Southampton player can impress his manager sufficiently.