Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin struggled in his debut season at Old Trafford, but could well be a prominent figure in the side under new manager Jose Mourinho due to his particular skill set. The French international is primarily a ball-winning midfielder with a wide range of passing, providing the combative qualities to turnover possession, which is key in Mourinho’s philosophy.
The 26-year-old made 29 Premier League appearances for Manchester United last season, and was in the France squad for their 2016 European Championships this summer. Morgan Schneiderlin struggled for consistency under former manager Louis van Gaal, but averaged a tackle or interception every 15 minutes nevertheless. This particular facet is what Mourinho will want to enhance to nullify the threat of the opposition.
Schneiderlin doesn’t have any competition in the ball-winner role in midfield so Mourinho isn’t blessed with a host of viable options. The Manchester United manager always operates with one player who will actively seek to win the ball back, and in Schneiderlin the ability is certainly there. Signed from Southampton for around £27M in 2015, the Frenchman is yet to replicate his past form, but could shine under Mourinho’s organisation.
“As everybody knows, Jose is one of the best coaches in the world. I don’t know him personally but I spoke to Lassana Diarra at the (French training camp) and he only said good things about him. I’m really looking forward to working with him, finding out his methods and winning back the title at Manchester United,” said Schneiderlin about Mourinho in June.
The former Saints man was named as one of the players likely to be sold when the Portuguese coach was appointed, but instead it’s more likely that Morgan Schneiderlin will play an important role in a deep-lying midfield position. With United close to signing Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, a player who will provide goals and assists but offers little defensive protection, a holding-midfield or ball-winner alongside him will be key.
Manchester United will control the middle of the park with two talented ball-players, one of whom is expert at turning over possession, and the other being expert at dictating the tempo and scoring & creating chances. The two midfielder are French also and were both in the squad for Euro 2016, so they should have a good working relationship.
Will failing to show his true worth in his debut season at Old Trafford, will Morgan Schneiderlin play a key role in the Man Utd midfield next season?