Following a thoroughly underwhelming debut season at Old Trafford, Bastian Schweinsteiger will need to convince Jose Mourinho that he’s still good enough to play at the highest level in order to save his Manchester United career this summer.
Big things were expected of the German World Cup winner when he left Bayern Munich last summer, but it’s no exaggeration to suggest he’s been a huge disappointment.
Injuries certainly haven’t helped the 31-year-old, who made 31 appearances for the Red Devils this season, but over the past nine months he’s looked a shadow of the world-class midfielder who dominated matches in the Bundesliga for the best part of a decade.
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Speaking after the dismissal of Louis van Gaal, who was relieved of his duties following a meeting with Ed Woodward on Monday morning, Schweinsteiger insisted he has no ill-feelings towards the Dutch coach.
“I think Louis van Gaal and I have a very special relationship - he moved me into the centre of the midfield at Bayern and I’ve got a lot to thank him for,” the Germany international was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. “Also, my move to United was because of him. I will never say any bad words about somebody for whom I have so much to thank.”
Schweinsteiger on his relationship with Van Gaal
Asked if their relationship had suffered this season, Schweinsteiger responded: “Quite the opposite - even if we were not always of the same opinion, we had a good relationship.
“I admire him as a coach and despite a difficult season with really much injury misfortune, he still ended it with a good title. It’s been two years since United last won a title and I think that was a good ending also for him.”
Schweinsteiger on Mourinho - plus a prediction
The midfielder was then asked about Jose Mourinho, who will be confirmed as United’s new manager within the next day or two.
Schweinsteiger is looking forward to working under the revered Portuguese coach for the first time and predicts the Red Devils will enjoy a “special season” under his management.
“We don’t know who will be our new manager yet, but it looks like it’s going to be an interesting derby in Manchester next season,” he added, referring to the tense rivalry that exists between Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. “The enthusiasm for football in Manchester is great and if Mourinho does take over at United, I think all of the players want to train under him so it’s going to be quite a special season.”
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