Former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has admitted he lost the joy of playing football at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho.
The Frenchman arrived at Old Trafford from Southampton back in July 2015 for a fee of £24m and spent two lukewarm seasons under Louis van Gaal before being offloaded to Everton by Mourinho over the January transfer period.
Schneiderlin, who failed to make a Premier League start under the Portuguese, scored his first Everton goal during a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend and the Frenchman, speaking after the win over Tony Pulis’ side, noted that life on the bench at United became unbearable.
“I did lose my joy of football a little bit because when you don’t play, you don’t play with freedom and everything is very hard,” he said.
“Since I’ve come here the manager knows what I’m all about. He placed confidence in me in the past and he has done so again. It’s a joy to work with him every day.
“He knows how I want to play, he knows my strength and it’s a case of him giving the best product, if I can say, to be the best player I can. I’m very happy to find this joy of football again and hopefully it will carry on for me.”
Schneiderlin faced a tricky choice back in December. With the transfer window on the horizon he was Mourinho’s fifth choice midfielder, consigned to playing catch-up with the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini.
Some may say that the 27-year-old could have stuck it out at Old Trafford, working harder and modifying his approach to align with the boss’ demands in similar fashion to players like Phil Jones and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this season. But you can tell that Schneiderlin, above anything, just wants to play football on a regular basis, and Ronald Koeman has provided him with exactly that.
We all wish him well – just as long as he has an absolute shocker when Everton come to Old Trafford in a few weeks’ time.