Not even the biggest cynic could have predicted Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fall from grace at Manchester United.
He arrived at Old Trafford in 2015 having just helped Bayern Munich win the Bundesliga. One year previously, he won a domestic double with the Bavarians and the World Cup with Germany.
Now he finds himself training with United’s reserve team. He’s out of their Europa League squad and has been reduced to cheering his team on via social media.
While his brother Tobi vented his frustration, Schweinsteiger has handled himself with grace all throughout this ordeal. Prior to Saturday’s derby against Manchester City, he tweeted: “Derby day! Let’s go, @ManUtd!” even though we would play no part in the contest.
Last month, the 32-year-old posted an update on social media and didn’t critics his employers once. “I will be ready, if the team needs me,” he said.
It makes you feel sorry for the midfielder. Ok, so he’s past his best. But he hasn’t even been given a chance in his second season.
Schweinsteiger showed in his final game for Germany last week that he could still play a role for United. And Mourinho knows he would get 100 per cent from the former Bayern man.
But on the day United released their financial figures for the past year, it came to light just how far out of Mourinho’s thinking that Schweinsteiger is.
Per The Times’ reporter Martyn Ziegler, United were forced to write off £6.7 million because Schweinsteiger is no longer a first team player.
“Exceptional costs for the year were £15.1 million,” read United’s official report, “of which £8.4 million related to compensation to the former manager and certain members of the coaching staff for loss of office and £6.7 million 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 means United no longer include Schweinsteiger as an asset. He remains a United player but in the loosest way possible.
The sooner his stint at Old Trafford is over, the better. It’s been a disaster.