Schweinsteiger’s showing vs. Wigan could justify new role

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Manchester United career has been a strange one. The Germany international – a serial Bundesliga winner and World Cup victor – arrived during the Louis van Gaal era to a great fanfare, but it quickly became clear that the former Bayern Munich ace had passed his best.

He dipped in and out under LVG before being axed altogether by Jose Mourinho ahead of the current campaign, with the Portuguese boss famously refusing to even name him in his Europa League group stage squad.

Alas, Mourinho’s stance has softened in recent weeks, though, with Schweinsteiger having appeared in matchday squads and even been given the odd few minutes here and there. And he was handed a start vs. Wigan in the FA Cup on the weekend, to which he responded by putting in a performance that prompted ‘Mou’ to officially change his stance on the player:

He said (via The Sun):

“He is staying. He is going on the Europa League list because we open spaces with Depay and Schneiderlin having gone and we don’t have many options in midfield.

“90 minutes today was probably too hard for him, from minute 65 it was hard for him but now I think he is happy.”

It’s clear to see Schweinsteiger’s impact in the win over the Latics, too…

The German was truly influential at Old Trafford and contributed far beyond his headline goal and assist. Indeed, ‘Schweini’ had more touches of the ball (131) than any other player on the pitch, while his three tackles were more than any other player in red.