July 13th, 2015 was arguably one of the most exciting days of Louis van Gaal’s dull two-year tenure at Manchester United. After a fine season with Southampton, van Gaal splashed the cash on Morgan Schneiderlin with veteran midfielder Bastain Schweinsteiger announced just minutes after. Social media went crazy and rightly so, van Gaal had spent serious cash on a midfield that looked as if it had the capability of getting them back to the top of the Premier League. Schneiderlin's career got off to a flyer, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Club América just four days after signing for the club. Fast forward a year and a bit, and Schneiderlin has made the short trip down the M62 on a permanent move to Everton. Below is the story regarding Morgan Schneiderlin’s disappointing Manchester United career….
After an impressive pre-season, Schneiderlin went straight into van Gaal’s XI filled with debutants in a scrappy 1-0 over Tottenham Hotspur. The Frenchman’s performances received praise with the tough-tackling, yet tidy midfielder producing admirable performances week in, week out. Schneiderlin grabbed his first goal a month later in a comprehensive 3-0 win at Everton. However, inconsistent performances and van Gaal's constant rotation of the midfield department led to the France international losing his place in the side as he then went on to play a bit-part role during the festive period of the season. It wasn’t long however, before Schneiderlin was called upon. Three defeats in a row to mid table opposition led the need for a re-think in the Dutchman’s tactics. Sixth place United took on Chelsea looking to regain some kind of from and the reinstatement of Schneiderlin led to United ending the run of three straight defeats by holding out a 0-0 draw. The strong performance from the Frenchman lead to the 27-year-old starting 14 of the remaining 19 games of the Premier League season as the Old Trafford club ended the season in fifth place.
Another chance under Mourinho?
United’s 5th place finish in the Premier League wasn't enough for Van Gaal to keep his job and he was replaced by José Mourinho following the triumphant FA Cup campaign in which Schneiderlin only appeared three times. Schneiderlin joined Mourinho’s squad late for pre-season after he was called up as a last gasp replacement to the French Euro 2016 squad for the injured Lassana Diarra. France would finish as eventual runner-ups with the midfielder failing to make a single appearance. The midfielder returned for the testimonial of skipper Wayne Rooney but didn't feature as Mourinho opted for the duo of Ander Herrera and veteran midfielder Michael Carrick. Schneiderlin then played only 13 minutes of the Community Shield final in which Mourinho claimed his first trophy at the club. Then came the arrival of Paul Pogba, just before the start of the premier league campaign but his suspension meant that he was unavailable for United's first game of the Premier League season. A chance for Schneiderlin? No. Mourinho opted for a midfield of Marouane Fellaini and Spaniard Ander Herrera, with a five minute substitute appearance contributing to the 11 minutes of Premier League football Schneiderlin would play all season at the club. The next game was against former club Southampton, it was Pogba’s debut and one major decision was who would partner the world record signing? Fellaini got the nod and from here on in the Frenchman fell further down the pecking order. An inconsistent September and October led to Mourinho changing the team up, the common partnership of Herrera and Pogba was changed and the need for a ball playing midfielder to operate the side was as strong as ever, this unfortunately further reduced Schneiderlin’s hope of getting into the side as veteran midfielder Micheal Carrick moved into the XI with Schweinsteiger being brought in from the cold to act as back up to the midfield trio.
So that’s the story of Morgan Schneiderlin’s Manchester United career. Below are four key reasons as to why the midfielder didn’t establish himself in the side…
Where did it go wrong for the £27million man?
The loss of Louis van Gaal as well as the Dutchman's inability to find Schneiderlin's best role.
Schneiderlin featured in 29 of Manchester United’s premier league games last season, showing the importance of the Frenchman to the then manager Van Gaal. Schneiderlin’s performances were however hindered through a constant rotation of partners sitting next to him in midfield with his role changing depending on the partner. Fellaini, who featured next to the Frenchman towards the end of that season, was often given a free role. To allow the Belgian to get forward, Schniederlin had to play a more defensive role which he wasn't used to, given his success working up and down the pitch at Southampton.
Mourinho came in and meant business, he wanted his side, with his star players and unfortunately for Schneiderlin it meant his compatriot Paul Pogba signed and reduced any remaining chance Schneiderlin had to break into the side. The form of Ander Herrera led to Pogba and the Spaniard building a solid partnership which has now added Micheal Carrick to create a trio that makes up Mourinho's midfield men.
As previously noted Louis van Gaal gave Schneiderlin a defensive role in the side, restricting the Frenchman to averaging a singular shot every two games compared to the average of 1.3 shots every game in his previous season. Schneiderlin also suffered as he played as more of a shield to the back four allowing midfield partners such as Herrera and Fellaini to get forward.
No Mourinho Chance
The Manchester United war chest was opened in Mourinho's first transfer window meaning that under- performers from the previous season could be replaced. Van Gaal signings Memphis Depay and Schweinsteiger, as well as Schneiderlin, were instantly removed from the former Chelsea man’s plans due to the fact Ed Woodward was ready to pay whatever the price to bring in the finest players to the club.
It never really got going for Schneiderlin at Manchester United. Nevertheless, the French international is still highly regarded amongst many and the move to Merseyside could rejuvenate his career which hit a stumbling block during his time in Manchester.