Everton have finally had a £22million bid for Morgan Schneiderlin accepted and it would seem the out-of-favour French international is heading for the Old Trafford door.
Go back a short time to when the emerging central midfielder was making his name in a talented Southampton team including the likes of: Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw, and he was touted as one of the best young playmakers in the country. Now he can’t even get into the Manchester United team for a Thursday night Europa League tie in Ukraine.
Well, it turns out United veteran Michael Carrick – since dusting off his boots and hanging the zimmer frame up for one more season – has worked his way back into Mourinho’s good books and has been kicking his young French colleague all over the park (not literally).
Since working his way back into the team, Carrick – perennially known as one of the most underrated midfielders in United history, if not the Premier League – has added much needed composure, poise and a range of passing to the Red Devil’s core. And the stats are not bad either:
Manchester United’s record in all competitions this season when Michael Carrick has played:
— Stats Capital (@StatsCapital) January 8, 2017
And whilst Schneiderlin’s fee was a whopping figure in the region of £25million in July 2015, that is nothing in comparison to what they shelled out for Paul Pogba. And let’s all be honest – whilst he may not yet have proved his world-record transfer fee of £89 million on the pitch – the Pog is better; much better.
Some ardent United supporters will argue that given time Schneiderlin could have been moulded into the next Carrick, seeing as the Englishman (yes, he is English – and yes, I know we don’t see him in an England kit very often – blame the “Golden Generation” for that) is now 35, and seems to be falling apart at the seams:
Makes me look a lot tougher than I really am if I’m honest ?
1st time I’ve had my head stapled on a pitch before tho ? pic.twitter.com/ZCMM3JqVhR
— Michael Carrick (@carras16) January 8, 2017
But Mourinho has never been one for the slow development of players, so au revoir Schneiderlin.
Let’s have a look at other United players that weren’t given enough time:
- Wilfried Zaha: Making a total of four appearances for the United first-team, Fergie’s final signing never really lived up to his potential.
- Juan Sebastian Veron: Already an established star in Italian football, the Argentine midfielder failed to adjust to the pace of the Premier League in his 82 games for United. Although did see slightly more success helping Chelsea transition to a football powerhouse.
- Diego Forlan: Despite gaining cult-hero status following goals at Anfield, Forlan never really hit the heights at United. Though he did go on to be a two-time European golden boot winner.
Maybe Schneiderlin will sit alongside these three in the Manchester United annuals, rather than the laughing stock fodder of Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson and Bebe. But let’s be honest, he’ll never be Liam Miller. That guy was truly talented.