Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Manchester United exile may be finally coming to an end after he was invited back to training with the first team this week. Can Manchester United ticket holder expect to see him in action at Old Trafford this month?
The former German captain and World Cup winner’s career seemed to be all but over in Manchester, but he has been pictured training with the rest of the first team squad and it now appears that Jose Mourinho may be willing to offer him a second chance at Old Trafford. Manchester United ticket holders are beginning to learn to expect the unexpected with Jose Mourinho and Schweinsteiger could be the latest trick that the United boss has planned in order to reignite their season.
However, many are suggesting he is merely back training in order to get fit so the club can engineer a move away from the club for the 32-year old. If Schweinsteiger was to complete a dramatic U-turn and pull on the famous red jersey once more, where does he fit in Mourinho’s system? Football Ticket Pad takes a look at what the future may hold for one of the most decorated players in Europe and the apparent tough treatment he has received.
Manchester United’s mixed fortunes at the start of the season have well documented across the world media with only four wins from their opening ten Premier League fixtures. Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba began the season as the preferred central midfield pairing and it backfired against Manchester City in September with both players lacking the defensive discipline. As the season has progressed, Ander Herrera has been brought back into the fold and he has been one of United’s key players this season, offering defensive cover to allow Paul Pogba to roam.
Herrera was instumental away at Liverpool in October and has been a regular in the side since. However, with the way that United play it has been evident, especially at the start of the season, that they are lacking the experience and defensive nous that a Schweinsteiger brings. United threw Pogba straight back into English football in an unfamiliar deep-lying role. Pogba has taken time find his feet back in the Premier League and continues to adapt after his move from Juventus, were the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal sweeping behind him as he played in a more advanced position.
Eight-time Bundesliga winner, Schweinsteiger is a born winner who could be the missing piece in the Mourinho jigsaw. The ‘Special One’ is one of the most tactically astute managers in the game and perfected the 4-2-3-1 formation at Chelsea before utilising it at Manchester United. However, it has become clear that Mourinho needs to tweak his system and the flaws have been evident following United’s four matches without a win in October, which included a heavy 4-0 defeat against Chelsea on Jose’s return to Stamford Bridge.
Schweinsteiger’s has yet to make an appearance since Mourinho took over and is yet to appear in a matchday squad. However, his two month exile from the first team picture could be nearing an end in one way or another. The writing appeared to be on the wall for the former Bayern Munich star when he was labelled as an asset in the club's latest published accounts in June 2016.
Under the 'exceptional items' section of United's annual results, it listed a sum of £6.7million "related to a registrations' impairment charge regarding a reduction in the carrying value of a player no longer considered to be a member of the first team playing squad." It is understood Schweinsteiger was that individual and could not be included as an asset as it may give an unfair impression to investors.
Schweinsteiger stressed towards the end of the transfer window that Manchester United would be his last club European club that he would play for and he recently tweeted saying: "I will be ready, if the team needs me". His United exile angered many of the German’s former teammates, who voiced their opinion on his apparent mistreatment by the United hierarchy.
The midfielder was told to clear out his locker at United training base and abolished from the first team, told to train separately with the Under 23’s squad and was not included in the season squad photo despite being given a squad number. Former international team mate, Lukas Podolski said: “A coach should always keep his door open to all players. It is not right for a player of his stature to be in the reserves.”
Meanwhile, Michael Ballack, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, said: “The very least Schweinsteiger should receive is the respect he deserves for the performance he has had.”
Germany captain, Manuel Neuer also voiced his support for his friend, He said: “We all know he is one of the best midfielders in the world. He belongs on the field for Manchester United and not training individually.”
However, Schweinsteiger won’t be holding his breath. A matter of weeks ago, Jose Mourinho told the press: “I think it’s very difficult for Schweinsteiger to play this season. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s very difficult." He added: "We have a decision made about Pogba, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Fellaini and Carrick. That’s five players for two positions. It’s very, very difficult that an opportunity will arise.”
Whether he will make another appearance in the red of Manchester United remains to be seen. However, it will be a sad indictment for a player with such a stellar career was to bow out of the Premier League in such circumstances. Football Ticket Pad has a selection of Manchester United football tickets available. Fans can safely secure their Premier League tickets and Europa League tickets from our ticket pages with a 100% guarantee.