Bastian Schweinsteiger’s performances for Germany at Euro 2016 shows that he can still be a key asset for Manchester United.
The ex-Bayern Munich midfielder, who struggled under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal last term, has helped his country progress towards the latter stages of the competition in France, and such performances have banished any suggestions that he is a faded force.
The Euros have offered Schweinsteiger a timely opportunity to prove that he can be an integral part of the United side under new manager Jose Mourinho.
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When Van Gaal swooped for Schweinsteiger last July, many thought United had finally landed a sufficient replacement for Paul Scholes, and one of the best, most consistent, midfielders in world football.
However, as the Red Devils slumped out of the Champions League positions, the German international failed to get to grips with the Premier League and struggled to replicate the same brilliant performances shown at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
The 31-year-old scored just a solitary goal all term – the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with eventual champions Leicester City in November – and of his 31 appearances, very few caught the eye.
It has led to speculation that United could spend big on a central midfielder, such as Juventus’ Paul Pogba, but Schweinsteiger’s solid displays for Germany means Mourinho should hold off for the time being.
Schweinsteiger scored in Germany’s 2-0 opening Group C victory over Ukraine, and ever since has helped them look more and more like the 2014 world champions, rather than the team that battled their way to qualification.
His passing and tackling has been spot on and Joachim Low’s men now look like favourites for the trophy after their comfortable victory over Slovakia.
Schweinsteiger has been a regular in the side since making his debut in 2004, and despite claims his powers are lessening, he still appears to have the ability to play at the highest level.
Despite struggling for form and fitness during Van Gaal’s difficult reign, and being shunted out of his beloved Bayern by Pep Guardiola, Schweinsteiger’s performances at Euro 2016 have offered proof that he can still be an integral figure for club and country.
United have many central midfielders, such as Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini, but an in-form Schweinsteiger tops the lot.
There had been talk of Schweinsteiger leaving United after Van Gaal’s acrimonious departure, but Fellaini and Herrera should be the ones sacrificed if Pogba does indeed make a sensational return to Old Trafford.
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