Wednesday, March 29, 2023

This Midfielder Could Be Paul Pogba’s Ideal Partner At Manchester United

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Morgan Schneiderlin has constantly been linked with a move away from Manchester United after an underwhelming first season which culminated in him losing his starting spot in the team. Schneiderlin is predominantly a defensive minded midfielder who has the propensity to pop up with important goals once in a while. He started his career at Strasbourg before moving to Southampton on June, 2008 on a 4-year deal. Since then he has made 260 appearances in all competitions over 7 years at the club. He was in the team which won consecutive promotions to reach the Premier League. His meteoric rise along with the team saw him captain Southampton in a 2-2 draw against then European Champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

In the 2013 season, Schneiderlin registered the most tackles, interceptions and highest work rate which enabled him to win the Player’s Player of the Year and Fan’s Player of the Year and established him as one of the most exciting midfield prospect in England.

The player has himself expressed dissatisfaction over how things panned out in his first year at Old Trafford. Rumours have been rife about a move to Everton who have recruited Ex-Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.  And he has been reportedly given a significant transfer kitty to bolster the team.

Looking at the stats and the nature of Morgan’s gameplay it is quite similar to another favourite of Mourinho, Nemanja Matic. Jose has always admired players with strong defensive foundations with tireless work rate and Matic having transformed into a defensive midfielder from a playmaker during his days at Benfica exhibited all those qualities which prompted Chelsea to shell out £21m for him.


Schneiderlin looks well equipped to mirror the role Mourinho had assigned to Matic at Chelsea. He can break up play in the middle of the park, his passing accuracy was 89% for Manchester United despite the underperformance and he covers the entirety of the midfield. His tackle success ratio is on the higher side and he also has an eye for the goal.

On the flip side, he has the knack of committing fouls and is going through a poor run of form. But Mourinho should look at resurrecting his form and impart the winning mentality which is synonymous with both Mourinho and Manchester United. Schneiderlin on his part has vowed to fight for his place in the team.

With the imminent arrival of Pogba many believe his time at the club has come to an end. And with a host of midfielders available to Mou, time is running short for Schneiderlin to prove his worth to the former Real Madrid boss. But as the aforementioned factors illustrate, he still has a lot to offer to this United team and at an age of 26, his best playing days are ahead of him.  While Pogba is adept both in defence and attack many believe he will be at his most effective when given the freedom to venture forward and join in his team’s attacks. In such a scenario the defensive minded Schneiderlin will be a perfect partner for the French star as he is adept at screening the back line and is effective in mopping up attacks and winning possession for his team.

Schneiderlin will look to give his heart out in training and the remaining pre-season games and hope Mourinho is convinced of his value to the team he is setting up.

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