Louis van Gaal is reportedly looking to bolster his Manchester United squad with a stunning four-man raid this summer that could see Bastian Schweinsteiger line up in the heart of the Red Devils midfield next season.
According to Darren Lewis of the Mirror, the Dutchman has cited Bayern’s midfield maestro and his compatriot Mats Hummels as primary targets, with Dnipro’s Yevhen Konoplyanka and Roma’s Kevin Strootman also in the frame.
Club legend Bryan Robson thinks that four players would be enough this summer, suggesting the club isn’t in need of a major overhaul, per Chris Slater of the Manchester Evening News:
Everyone keeps saying it needs to be a major rebuild – I just don’t see it like that.
I think we have some great players within the squad. We need three of four top-class players.
If Van Gaal can get those players, in the positions we need within the squad, I think we have a great chance of bouncing back from the disappointment of this season.
Of the four aforementioned targets, it’s the pursuit of Schweinsteiger that is most likely to get United supporters excited. The 29-year-old has been at the heart of Bayern Munich’s midfield for years now and, in the eyes of many, has been the most complete central midfield player in the world during the recent renaissance enjoyed by both Bayern Munich and the German national team.
But in Pep Guardiola’s first season in Bavaria, the talismanic Schweinsteiger has endured a frustrating campaign. Yes, he has dealt with injury problems, but there is a school of thought that Schweinsteiger, for all of his undoubted qualities, is not a stylistic match with Guardiola.
The former Barcelona boss sets up his teams to play short, sharp passing, and whilst Schweinsteiger is no mug in possession, he is unable to move the ball as quickly as the likes of Toni Kroos, Thiago Alcantara and Philipp Lahm.
It’s something Spanish football expert Graham Hunter touched on recently, claiming Bayern have already offered the player to United:
Whilst the principles of Guardiola and Schweinsteiger may not make for a happy marriage, the German is probably the perfect fit for United and for Van Gaal. The Red Devils are in desperate need of a new central midfielder, and the German international would bring so much to their side.
Here’s a taster of what Schweinsteiger could potentially add to the Premier League:
The drive, energy and tactical awareness that Schweinsteiger possesses are currently in massively short supply in this United team.
He’d also ingrain an unshakable will to win to into the club, a kind of mentality that United will need after the departure of legendary figures such as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, not to mention the retirement of the club’s most successful player ever, Ryan Giggs.
For Schweinsteiger, it’d be undoubtedly difficult to leave Bayern Munich, having been at the club for his entire career. But having won everything there is to win with the German champions and with a new manager looking to take the club in a different direction, perhaps now would be the best time to seek a new challenge.
On paper, Schweinsteiger is a perfect fit for English football, and if Van Gaal can convince him to be the nexus of United’s resurgence, then it’d be not only a major coup from a footballing perspective, but also a significant statement of bold intent and rediscovered ambition.