Sunday, July 12th brought not one, but two Manchester United transfers for 2015, this is exciting news for fans. The day saw back-to-back medical screenings for the two players, who become the latest additions to the squad Louis van Gaal hopes will take the Man United name back to the top of the Premier League podium. But what roles will these two footballers play at Old Trafford, and will they be the answers to recent Red Devils woes?
Bastian Schweinsteiger: A Seasoned Veteran
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger comes to Manchester United from German heavyweights, Bayern Munich, where he's spent the entirety of his senior career. Coming up through the Bavarians' youth program (which he joined in 1998), Schweinsteiger got called up to the Bayern Munich II team in 2001, and has been a regular member of the senior squad since 2002. For those who are counting, that means Bastian is coming off of 13 straight seasons with one of the world's greatest football clubs.
In his 13 seasons with Bayern's senior squad, Schweinsteiger tallied a nice round count of 500 overall appearances. That statistic makes him the eighth most capped player in Bayern Munich history, and until now, the most seasoned veteran on the team.
Manchester United will benefit from all that experience and wisdom. He's also proven to be a fairly impressive offensive commodity in Germany, scoring 67 goals in his 500 Bayern Munich appearances.
Add 111 appearances and 23 goals for the German national team (which Schweinsteiger currently captains, following the post-World Cup departure of Philipp Lahm), and Bastian seems like a safe and smart signing for Man United. He is 30 years old, which means his senior football playing career is likely entering its final stages, but as a thoroughly proven commodity, he should fit in nicely with Louis van Gaal's new squad.
Interestingly, when Schweinsteiger dons the Manchester United jersey this season, he will be the first German player to ever feature on the soccer club's first team.
Morgan Schneiderlin: A Replacement for Michael Carrick
Louis van Gaal paid a reported £14.4 million to bring Bastian Schweinsteiger to Manchester United. He added another £24 million for another new midfielder signing-Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin-in the same weekend.
In other words, with these new transfers expect the Red Devils to have a very different midfield for the 2015 2016 season. Where Schweinsteiger is a seasoned veteran who should add some much needed stability to the football club's midfield, Schneiderlin is a younger talent likely headed into the prime of his professional soccer career.
A Frenchman, Schneiderlin started his career in the Ligue 1, with the RC Strasbourg Alsace. After the football club was relegated at the end of the 2007 2008 season, though, Schneiderlin transferred to the Premier League to join Southampton. He's been with the club ever since, making 260 appearances and scoring 15 goals.
Van Gaal has reportedly identified Schneiderlin as the likely long-term replacement for Michael Carrick. Carrick, of course, is legendary at Old Trafford. He's played as the soccer club's central midfielder since 2006, making 379 appearances and scoring 23 goals along the way. Renowned for his passing and crossing, Carrick played a huge role in the five Premier League titles and various other trophies that Manchester United have won since his arrival. He's 33 now, though, and has struggled a bit with injuries in recent years.
If Louis van Gaal is going to have to replace Carrick soon, it's easy to see why Schneiderlin is an attractive option. During the 2013 2014 season, the Southampton star recorded stronger stats than almost any other midfielder in the Premier League. Those stats included 139 interceptions and 146 tackles (more than anyone else in the league, on both accounts), as well as a pass completion rate of 84% (out of his nearly 2,000 attempted passes).
Needless to say, both Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger have the experience and statistics necessary to make a strong impact at Old Trafford. Celebrate both high-profile transfers, with a Manchester United shirt from Soccer Box! We are still waiting for the new 2015 2016 Man Utd jerseys, but the 2014 2015 home shirt is available for 40% off.