Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes Bastian Schweinsteiger can serve as a powerful asset for Manchester United this season.
Schweinsteiger was instantly cast into the reserves following Jose Mourinho’s arrival back in June.
And despite the 53-year-old making it clear that the German was not part of his plans at Man United, Schweinsteiger rejected several offers from other clubs over the summer, pledging his allegiance to the club that continues to ostracise him.
Speaking on the subject of Schweinsteiger, Gundogan declared his German team-mate, when fully fit, could hugely benefit Mourinho’s side.
“If everything you hear and read is true, you can consider it disrespectful. He’s not just some player, and also not only 18 or 19.
“I trusted myself to do that before [Schweinsteiger’s retirement], but this has nothing to do with saying his retirement is positive or negative. We should be thankful that we had such a great player.”
Even during what was an injury-hit season, the 32-year-old displayed an aptitude for producing moments of wondrous brilliance under Louis van Gaal. His manipulation of the ball, awareness and sheer deftness was spellbinding at times.
But when you analyse the midfield three deployed by Mourinho in recent weeks, finding a place for Schweinsteiger becomes difficult. Both Paul Pogba and Juan Mata have the responsibility to burst forward and link up with wingers, whilst Ander Herrera, sitting in behind, sweeps up any threat that comes his way and launches attack, hallmarking everything he does with sheer intensity.
Can Schweinsteiger fit into this mould? The answer, of course, is no, and it seems as if a long period of anonymity at Old Trafford awaits the German.