Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manchester United’s new midfielder, says he’s got plenty to offer still for the highest level and that he feels surrounded by title-quality players at Old Trafford.
Schweinsteiger will be celebrating his 31st birthday come August 1st, and last season saw him struggling with injury concerns. He started a mere 15 Bundesliga games with Bayern Munich, which sparked comments that the veteran player might not be able to match the Premier League’s physical demands after his move towards United. (Fans looking to see how he performs with Manchester can find tickets online here.)
Franz Beckenbauer questioned Schweinsteiger’s abilities in public, wondering whether the player has what’s needed to perform in the League following his Manchester move, and hinting that going to the American MLS would have been a better choice for this stage of Schweinsteiger’s career.
Yet Schweinsteiger has told American reporters that he believes he’ll make a significant impact on the British game, after completing what was the first and maybe the last transfer of his career over last weekend.
“I feel great and I am ready to go. I want to make a positive impact and I think I can contribute a lot to the team.
“I want to add my quality to United’s game. When I see what we do in practice and the quality we have I am sure we have the chance to win titles. I am convinced about that.”
Schweinsteiger’s comments came in response to statements from Beckenbauer early this week, when the German football legend hinted that the 2014 World Cup-winning player might not have what it takes to shine for United this late in his career.
The move comes as Manchester seem to be looking to send off Jonny Evans, who is closing in on a move to Everton. The Merseysiders might pay as much as £10 million for the centre-back, who’s become surplus to Old Trafford’s requirements. United’s confidence in signing on a replacement is evidenced by Lous van Gaal’s obvious willingness to let him go, despite having had his £40 million offer to take on Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos rejected. (The former champions of the Premier League are rather reluctant to raise their offer, feeling it’s a fair price to pay for the 29 year old player. This could open up chances for Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi to make a move.)
Evans recently entered his Old Trafford contract’s last year, but in the last season saw himself overtaken in the central defensive pecking order by Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Both Englishmen recently signed new contracts for the long term, and van Gaal also has Marcos Rojo to call on — he joined this last summer — plus the two young players Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.
Everton on the other hand are short when it comes to centre backs, having let go Antolin Alcaraz and Sylvain Distinct towards last season’s end. That team already brought on a player from United over the summer: midfielder Tom Cleverley, who arrived on a free transfer.
Everton boss Roberto Martines however has ruled out any more major signings, leading some commentators to wonder if the club should perhaps be a bit more ambitious.