Bastian Schweinsteiger: Man United’s ideal midfield general or the next Owen Hargreaves?

The Louis van Gaal-inspired revolution at Manchester United shows no signs of slowing down, with the Old Trafford outfit firstly qualifying for the Champions League once more and now on a mission to strengthen ahead of next season.

While the captures of both Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian should be lauded as clever business for exciting players, the news that Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to follow the pair to Manchester will have most Red Devils’ fans salivating.

The Germany international looks set to move to the Premier League from Bayern Munich, with terms on a deal already agreed and only a medical standing in the midfielder’s way of becoming the club’s third summer signing.

Looking at the signing objectively, there are reasons for both great optimism and a little trepidation for the Old Trafford faithful.

There is no doubting that Schweinsteiger has been one of the most impressive central midfielders of a generation; the term world-class is banded about too frequently but in this instance United have signed a player that fits the illustrious moniker.

Since the days of Roy Keane, the Old Trafford outfit have been without a midfield general to offer presence, direction and authority on the team from the boiler room – Schweinsteiger will certainly offer this.

Although Michael Carrick offers a superb range of passing and Ander Herrera brings guile and energy, United have lacked a midfield talisman to go head-to-head with Yaya Touré, Nemanja Matić and the division’s best.

Schweinsteiger has won just about every competition imaginable with Bayern Munich and Germany, with the box-to-box man seeming motivated to take on this new challenge of inspiring United back to their glory days.

He looks exactly like the unique type of player that the club need, however this arrival brings questions with it.

Bastian SchweinsteigerWith the German turning 31 next month, there is certainly an argument to suggest that his best days are behind him, while his influence at Bayern has dissipated slightly over the last 12 months due to the arrival of Xabi Alonso.

Schweinsteiger’s recent injury list has also been extensive, with the midfielder spending significant periods of last season on the treatment table.

The comparison between the German and another midfielder signed from Bayern, former United player Owen Hargreaves, is something that the Old Trafford will hope does not correlate.

With the Red Devils seemingly set to allow someone of Robin van Persie’s calibre leave due to his age and recent track record of being unavailable through injury, the German maestro’s acquisition contradicts the train of thought that the club are building for the long term.

With continued links to Morgan Schneiderlin also, just how United’s midfield will line up next season remains to be seen.

Carrick’s importance to the team has been clarified by the side’s win ratio when he is dictating play from in front of its defence, while Herrera is showing signs that he is living up to his sizeable potential.

Despite these concerns, there is no doubting Schweinsteiger’s calibre, reputation, record of success and ability.

The top-notch midfielder, who is set to become the club’s first ever German player, will bring a professionalism and will to win to United that could just be the catalyst for a title challenge.

His purchase is a major statement and shows that Van Gaal’s United will be a real force to be reckoned with next season.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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