Manchester United Transfer Targets: Schweinsteiger v Schneiderlin


Schweinsteiger v Schneiderlin…

Who should be Man United’s Central Midfield Signing?

Guest Post Provided by @hesham786

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A German enforcer or a French orchestrator? Man United fans have littered social media debating which of Morgan Schneiderlin or Bastian Schweinsteiger, two high class central-midfield players, would be the best signing to reinforce our squad in that area.

Firstly, Bastian Schweinsteiger, a name any football fan would recognise, he’s won every possible accolade with his club and he’s won the World Cup for his country, it seems like he has accomplished everything he can and has been around football for an eternity. Renowned for being a midfield general, robust and never shy of a tackle, his midfield intelligence makes him a player that still has several years at a very high level still left in his reliable German engine. German national coach Joachim Low called him “the brain”, not only does it show that he is pivotal to their team, it shows that he has the vision in his range of passing and that he is a superb reader of the game from his central midfield position. Van Gaal loves ‘multi-functional’ players and Schweinsteiger would provide versatility in the middle, as he is equally adept in the deep-lying defensive midfield position as the box-to-box midfield role.

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Compared to Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger has proven to be more efficient in providing his team with the goals and has more of an attacking threat, even whilst playing deep. Last season, despite playing over 800 minutes less than Schneiderlin, he played 7 more (26) key passes, provided 3 more assists (4) than the Frenchman (1) and scored one more goal (5 to Schneiderlin’s 4). Even in 2013/14, the German notched up 8 goals and assists combined whilst Schneiderlin only managed 3 combined despite playing 900 minutes less. With an eye for a pass, a thunderous long-range shot and a wicked set-piece delivery in him, Schweinsteiger provides the greater attacking threat from the midfield. Perhaps the biggest thing Van Gaal has been attracted to, is the German’s leadership qualities, recently given the captaincy for the World Champions, he is a natural leader whose sheer presence alone demands respect. United have lacked steel and leadership ever since Roy Keane’s departure and he could provide our midfield with exactly that with all of his Champions League experience as an added bonus too.

Morgan Schneiderlin is the glue that holds Southampton together; in a Busquets-esque manner he dictates play for the Saints, doing the dirty work in the middle, his efforts often going unnoticed but never under-appreciated by his team mates. Speaking on Sky Sports after Southampton’s win at Old Trafford, Gary Neville said: “I think he [Schneiderlin] could play at any of the top clubs in the league, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United or Arsenal – he’s showed his quality this season.” Testaments like that have become the norm from pundits after several stellar Premier League seasons from Schneiderlin. The Frenchman is a rare hybrid of elegance and grit, two characteristics which have made him perfect for the Premier League. As Ander Herrera has proven this year, someone who isn’t lauded as a star name can still be the most effective signing for a club in the face of star names and Schneiderlin could emulate that success despite not being a star name like Schweinsteiger. He has played both as central midfielder and as a defensive midfielder so he cannot be accused of being one-dimensional and is versatile just like the Bayern Munich stalwart.

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When compared to Schweinsteiger, it is clear that the Saints’ midfielder is the more defensively astute. Last season, the German international won 24 tackles and Michael Carrick won 19 but Schneiderlin won an impressive 79 tackles in all games, even in the 2013/2014 season Schneiderlin won 51 more tackles than Schweinsteiger. In the 2014/15 season, Carrick (31) and Schweinsteiger (28) made 59 interceptions combined but Schneiderlin on his own managed to make 63 interceptions. In fact, he was won 519 tackles and interceptions combined since the 2012/13 season – the highest number by any Premier League player. These statistics show why the Southampton man is held in such high regard. He is a tenacious midfielder who breaks up play with consummate ease providing resolute cover for the defence; a role Michael Carrick has championed for United over the years. Praise for his defensive abilities shouldn’t mask his deep-lying playmaking abilities, sublime passing range and in-game intelligence; he would add dynamism and defensive solidity to any team.

Schweinsteiger is like a three-quarter full bottle of vintage red wine, when full it was one of the most valuable in its own specialist area, even though now it’s not what it once was, the real connoisseurs would still whole-heartedly appreciate whatever is left of it. Schneiderlin is like a bottle of champagne, known for being chilled, never disappoints in adding a touch of class, suitable for special occasions and often overlooked in its valuableness for what it contributes.

All in all, both of the central midfielders would add quality and composure to the Manchester United midfield. If Van Gaal wants a world class all-round central-midfielder for the short-term, Bastian Schweinsteiger may well be the man for the job. However, as I believe United should be aiming for longevity and quality simultaneously, I think we should look no further than Morgan Schneiderlin as the heir to Michael Carrick’s throne. He is proven in the Premier League doing the work of an unsung hero in Southampton’s midfield with a distinct stylishness and determinedness; he without doubt has all the qualities to be the defensive midfielder for an elite side in Europe. Despite being one of the most effective defensive midfielders in the Premier League for the last 3 seasons, the Frenchman has his prime years ahead of him and would be a great coup.

Manchester United fans shouldn’t be too fussed either way as both these players would represent fantastic signings irrelevant to transfer fees and age.



Hesham Bilal-Hafiz is a Season Ticket Holder at Old Trafford | Freelance sports writer for | Cricket | Politics | Future Law Student. Follow him on Twitter @hesham786

To read more please visit his blog at


Posted on 2 Jul 2015, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. prefer without any doubt M O R G A N !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    he’s really an investment for UTD, young, energetic, etc etc.
    BASTIAN will eventually be spending his riterment honeymoon.

    MALTA UTD fan

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