With the impending signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger, alongside recent acquisitions Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian, Manchester United appear to be doing their transfer business as early as possible this summer. We look at whether he’s a bargain or bust!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 13, 2015
Schweinsteiger has an impressive record for both Bayern Munich and Germany but there are question marks over whether, at the age of almost 31, he will be able to make an impact in the Premier League. Having spent his entire career at Bayern, Schweinsteiger is well used to playing for a giant of European football but it remains to be seen how easily he can adapt his style of play for the weekly rigours of the Premier League. Most likely to be utilised by van Gaal in a midfield role, Schweinsteiger will bring vast experience to the United team. Having played under van Gaal before, and with his vast experience of European competition, United fans will be hopeful that he can easily adapt to life in the English game.
Schweinsteiger will bring leadership to a United side that, over the past couple of seasons, has been lacking. The experience of players such as Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra was not replaced by United and signing a player who has the experience of winning both the Champions League and the World Cup and who is used to winning, will no doubt have a positive affect on all members of the United squad.
With the potential of a United midfield containing Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Bastian Schweinsteiger, physicality will not be an issue for United next season. With Schweinsteiger hopefully bringing stability to the centre of the United midfield, van Gaal will hope that other players will be able to focus on attacking duties. At times last season, Wayne Rooney was utilised in a midfield role when many would argue that Rooney is at his best in a purely attacking role – van Gaal will hope that he can concentrate more on this next season.
A lack of pace is seen by many as a weakness of Schweinsteiger‘s but it could be argued that he has never relied on his pace during his career, focussing more on his strength and footballing mind – both of which he still has. United fans will remember that Laurent Blanc came to Old Trafford in 2001 at the age of 35, performing admirably both on and off the pitch when many thought he was too old and slow for the Premier League. Blanc’s knowledge and experience is heralded by many as leaving a lasting impression on the United squad, many of whom who went on to win the 2008 Champions League. Van Gaal will be hoping that Schweinstieger can have a similar effect on players such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as he looks to take United back to the top of European football.
The jury will be out on Schweinsteiger until he has performances under his belt, but with the experience he has gained with both Bayern and Germany it’s more more than likely that, even at almost 31, he still has something to offer United. For the price that United are paying for his services, compared to other signings of the transfer window so far, come next May it may be that the capture of Schweinstieger is seen as one of the bargains of the season.