Almost a year ago, in the 124th minute of the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the deck for the last time. By the time he dragged himself to his feet, he was a world champion. The honour of scoring the winning goal might have gone to a young substitute- Mario Gotze, but Schweini’s performance in those 114 minutes before and 6 minutes after scoring that goal was undeniably brave and combative. Stained on the back of his no. 7 shirt by Maracana’s grass and now blood, sweat and tears of a victorious war, Schweinsteiger clunged to his team-mates who were now World Champions.
His omnipresence in Bayern Munich’s starting XI throughout his career and his performances for both club and country makes his transfer to Manchester United, arguably, similar to those of his counterparts in England; those of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to USA. The only difference being his age. At the age of 30, Schweinsteiger is considerably younger than Gerrard or Lampard or even other European mid-fielders leaving for America.
Whoever else Louis van Gaal buys this summer, he may have just made his best signing of the season. Bastian Schweinsteiger for 14.4 million British Pounds is a mind blowing bargain.
This transfer would have been more striking a couple of years ago but it remains a real coup for Manchester United. They have just stolen one of Bayern’s most iconic players from Munich while he still has a lot to offer, despite various doubts being raised over his fitness and his age and whether he is fit enough to battle it out in Premier League.
Schweinsteiger offers qualities on 3 fronts to Manchester United’s mid-field.