Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester United that they will only see the best of Bastian Schweinsteiger if he can overcome his injury problems.
Guardiola, who agreed to sell Schweinsteiger last month, claimed on Monday that the World Cup winner has not been in good physical condition for the past three years.
However, the former Barcelona boss is convinced Schweinsteiger will shine for the Red Devils when fully fit.
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“When he does not have injury problems I am completely convinced he will do very well at Manchester United,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the Mirror. “He is a top, top player. Unfortunately, the last three years he was never in good condition.”
The 44-year-old added: “When he is in very good condition I am convinced he will be a good player for them. I really hope that is going to happen.”
Schweinsteiger is a risk worth taking
Manchester United were already aware of Schweinsteiger’s potential fitness issues prior to signing him for £14.4 million last month.
But after the Germany international passed a routine medical, Louis van Gaal and co. felt it was a risk worth taking - particularly for such a relatively low transfer fee.
However, one month into his Manchester United career and Schweinsteiger has already been forced to miss a game through injury.
The all-action midfielder, who only made 15 starts in the Bundesliga last season, sat out of United’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the International Champions Cup after sustaining a minor knock.
He was, however, fit enough to play 45 minutes in United’s 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain days later and should be available for this weekend’s Premier League opener against Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Schweinsteiger must stay fit
Manchester United have faith that Schweinsteiger will overcome his fitness issues, as proved by their three-year contract offer.
But there appears to be a very real danger that the 31-year-old will regularly suffer from injury problems over the next few seasons - would Guardiola have agreed to sell him were this not the case?
If, though, he does manage to stay injury free then Manchester United have signed a top player for a bargain price.
Schweinsteiger has won pretty much everything in the game and his vast experience will prove useful in the team’s dressing room.
He also knows Van Gaal’s style of management, having previously worked under the demanding Dutch coach at Bayern Munich.
Manchester United fans: are you concerned about Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fitness issues? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!