Sami Khedira has warned people writing off Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger that they are all making a "big mistake".
The 31-year-old has been a hot topic of conversation in recent weeks after failing to make much of an impact at Old Trafford following a summer move from Bayern Munich.
When he left, Pep Guardiola suggested Schweinsteiger's days at the top of the game were over simply because he could not stay fit. Having failed to start a Premier League game since January 2, Guardiola's prediction is proving to be accurate.
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Not only has Schweinsteiger suffered several injuries under Louis van Gaal, but he has also failed to rekindle his very best form when he has played. It has led many pundits to conclude that Manchester United were wrong to sign him.
However, Khedira believes people should keep the faith in the midfielder, suggesting he still has time for one last spark.
Don't write him off
While he is oozing with pride after wearing the captain's armband for Germany in Schweinsteiger's absence, the Juventus star insisted his midfield compatriot was still very much the national side's leader and backed him to return to his best.
"I have to say that it is a big honour for me to captain the Germany national team," Khedira said ahead of Germany's friendly with Italy tonight.
"In fact, we have several players who can take responsibility. In the end, the manager decides who wears the captaincy.
"But personally, it's not that important for me at the moment because Bastian Schweinsteiger is still our captain. Everyone who writes him off makes a big mistake."
While Khedira may not be writing Schweinsteiger off, many at Old Trafford already have. His latest injury, suffered whilst on international duty with Germany, is likely to see him miss the rest of the campaign, making him an unlikely candidate for Joachim Low's Euro 2016 squad.
He suffered knee ligament damage whilst training having only recently made his return from another injury earlier this month. That injury had kept him out for two months, meaning he has hardly featured at all in 2016.
His domestic team-mate, Paddy McNair, described the injury as a "massive blow" for the Red Devils.
"It's a massive blow. He's a big character around the dressing room and he's Germany's captain. I'm not sure how serious the injury is, but hopefully he'll be fit to play in the Euros," McNair told Sky Sports.
"I speak to Bastian a lot and sit beside him in the changing room. He gives me tips and he's a World Cup winner so it's a joy to train and play with him."