‘The Special One’ Jose Mourinho, has reportedly asked several of his players; that they are free to leave Manchester United and should find another club. It seems that amongst those players the significant one is former Germany skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger, who wasn’t a part of the United squad for the pre-season games. It has been less than a year since Schweinsteiger made his Premier League debut as a 60th-minute substitute for Michael Carrick against Tottenham Hotspurs at the Old Trafford. The fans welcomed him with a deafening round of applause which clearly testified their hopes and excitement around him. As his first anniversary at United approaches, his place in the squad is at stake. In a recent interview, Jose Mourinho said:
“What is happening is happening in every club in the world, which is the manager decides his squad and chooses a certain number of players – and that’s it,”
“I normally like to work with 20 players plus the three goalkeepers, it’s what I’ve done for 15 years. But we have so many players and so many competitions, lots of distance to travel, so I made the decision to play with 23 players plus the three goalkeepers.”
“The Europa League is a competition that changes a lot at the start of the season with (the possibility of) 15 matches and playing on Thursday and a big risk of a lot of travel,”
A year ago, it seemed that Bastian was Manchester United’s marquee player, who was cheered with each of his first-touch by the fans on their pre-season tour in the United States. This year United have signed Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic and will perhaps bring Paul Pogba from Juventus for a world record fee which has put him in the back row in popularity and given his form, he seems to have become a player in exile looking for a cast-off. His downfall started little than over a year, as he failed to deliver the clubs’ demand from him, both in Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
Now, it seems that Jose urgently wants one of his central midfielders to become a beast of a player with physical box-to-box presence. Schweinsteiger would have once been a perfect example of the manager’s requirement but young Pogba seems to be the preferred candidate in that role, with Ander Herrera his deputy most likely. Perhaps Mourinho felt that there were rooms in his squad for two ageing, slow midfielders, in the same position and he preferred giving vice-captain Michael Carrick a contract extension. With that decision, it was pretty much clear that his time at Old Trafford is almost for Schweinsteiger. Last year whenever he played with Carrick, it proved obvious that there can only be one room for those two defensive midfielders. His poor form last season was noted by Jose Mourinho who has most probably made his plans in the deep midfield excluding him. Therefore, it is now completely up to him to decide his hanging future. He either can wait two more years in Manchester waiting to be called upon regularly along with the large sum of salary or he can take Mourinho’s advice and move on to a different club and pursue the last few days of his career.
But Schweinsteiger is surely one of the best midfielders in modern-day. His track record shows, he has won eight Bundesliga titles, the Champions League title in 2013. With 120 German caps, he was their midfield engine keeping the team up and running year after year. He was selected the best player in the World Cup final in 2014, as Germany went on winning their fourth World Cup title. In his prime, he combined power with perception and had an excellent leadership skill which surely made him the very best he is.
In a general point of view, Schweinsteiger is a player with both class and quality who shouldn’t be allowed to leave right now. Two bad seasons can’t prove his valuable presence in the team. Mourinho could’ve kept this experienced German at least one more year. He not only could’ve shown his character in difficult times but also could’ve been a great example of inspiration to the young midfielders in the squad. It’s quite painful to see as a football fan, that a world-class player is being discarded easily. The classic proverb, “Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent” surely describes his current situation.
However, Mourinho’s treatment to this veteran midfielder has been widely criticised by the fans, the media and many. Slovenia FifPro member Dejan Stefanovic has claimed that he should go to Prison.
“It’s clear bullying. In Slovenia, we would have indicted Mourinho and asked for the highest penalty – three years in prison.”
Stefanovic told the BBC.