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Is Jose Mourinho Selling The Wrong Man In The Jan Window?

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Morgan Schneiderlin

Morgan Schneiderlin has had to endure a disappointing year and a half at Manchester United and is all set to cut the ties with the Red Devils as he prepares to move away from Old Trafford in the upcoming January transfer window, with Everton seeming the most likely destination for the Frenchman.

Schneiderlin was signed ahead of the 2015-16 season by the previous manager Louis Van Gaal from Southampton for a fee in the range of £24 million, but the French national has struggled to establish himself as a regular at the Old Trafford. Schneiderlin featured consistently under Van Gaal in the last season, but he struggled to showcase the form and presence in the middle of the park, that had resulted in a bidding war for the midfielder.

And this season has been nothing short of a nightmare for the 27-year old, having had to watch from the sidelines every week with new manager Jose Mourinho picking him very rarely. The Frenchman has featured only 6 times for Mourinho’s team this term, with only one start that came in the EFL Cup. With Jose willing to sell the midfielder, his transfer seems just a matter of formalities.

However, it has not gone down well with the fans, who are confounded with the idea of selling Schneiderlin over Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian has never been a great hit among the United faithful ever since his deadline day move in the dreadful season under David Moyes and the fans, more often than not, have clamoured for Fellaini’s exit throughout his three and a half years at Old Trafford. Are the fans right in feeling that it should be Fellaini who needs to be shown the exit doors? Is Jose making a mistake by choosing to sell Schneiderlin over the Belgian?

Marouane Fellaini has been known to be prone to making errors in the midfield and is miles from the ideal midfield partner that one could think of for Pogba and Carrick. The Belgian was never considered to possess the quality required to represent United. His erroneous self was on display against his former side Everton, when he came on as a substitute late in the game to concede a penalty that cost United the win. However, despite his mistakes, Mourinho has constantly come out in defence of his player and still continues to back him to succeed at Old Trafford.

He may be a suspect at times but with his brute physical strength and his huge posture, Fellaini provides a big presence for United in the final third of the pitch. His role in the last season and his decent run of form early this term has shown he can have a positive influence on the team. But what endears him to managers the most is, he always carries out instructions to the last word and it is something that has gone a long way in earning Mourinho’s trust.

Schneiderlin on the other hand, may not exude the same physical presence as Fellaini but he still is a beast in the middle of the park and offers much more in terms of energy and running than the Belgian. He is also much better in possession than Fellaini who has often been very wasteful in possession and Schneiderlin will also offer a much better screen to his defenders and is also a goal threat from set pieces and long-range shots as well.

But having hardly featured, the Frenchman hasn’t been afforded the same number of opportunities as Fellaini, to display his capabilities this term. With United’s continued involvement in four competitions, Carrick and Herrera will need to be managed well if they are to avoid being burned out before the crucial final period of the season arrives and Schneiderlin will be a much better option than Fellaini to rotate for either of the midfield duo.

It remains unknown what has gone wrong for Schneiderlin under the new manager, the reasons for his peripheral role this term are undisclosed but what is well known is that the Frenchman offers much more than Fellaini in terms of quality in the middle of the park and United would benefit more from having Schneiderlin in their ranks and giving him a run in the playing XI on a much more consistent basis.