Should clubs have been ‘astonished’ by Man United signing Bastian Schweinsteiger?

by Sam Peoples

The Telegraph’s James Ducker published an article today taking a look at the signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger in some depth.

Ducker looks on the Schweinsteiger signing as a symbol of how United have fallen from grace over the last three years and is indicative of a complete lack of structure with regards to the signings we’ve made.

Here’s an extract from Ducker’s article: “Do not underestimate the sense of bewilderment United’s capture of Schweinsteiger caused in some rival Premier League boardrooms. Astonishment abounded. Even they could see from afar that United’s engine room required pace, power and, moreover, legs – an energy and exuberance that has been sorely lacking for so long.”

While we all agree Schweinsteiger’s season has not gone to plan, I’ll be the first to admit I was excited by his signing. When we announced his arrival with Morgan Schneiderlin, I was buzzing. Finally, our midfield problems were resolved. Hallelujah. Low and behold, it didn’t turn out that way.

If you’re looking for astonishment, there are so many other areas which we can point to before we take a look at whether signing Schweinsteiger was the right move or not.

Why has Morgan Schneiderlin been kept out of team by choice when he is quite clearly our best midfielder? Why have Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini started alongside each other so often?
Why did we wait until Fellaini’s release clause expired to then sign him a few weeks later for an inflated price?
Why has Ander Herrera been left out so often over the last two seasons?

All of these are more pertinent questions than whether Schweinsteiger was a good signing.

Schweinsteiger only cost us £6-7m, so in financial terms it was a low risk move (his wages do increase that, though) and he did fit the profile of a midfielder we needed. Someone with leadership, someone with experience who could marshal the midfield. A midfield three of Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and Herrera sounded fantastic. It just hasn’t quite worked out that way.

When you look at transfers over the last three years, there are plenty of examples where it just hasn’t worked out such as Fellaini, Di Maria, Falcao and I do think Schweinsteiger falls into that category.

However, he’s still got time on his hands and in the grand scheme of United’s failings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, there are plenty of other situations and decisions I would point towards as examples of United’s muddled logic before I’d start lambasting the arrival of Bastian.

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