Speculation continues to grow over the impending move away from Southampton for 25- year old midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Earlier this week, The Daily Mail and numerous other English newspapers reported that Manchester United were in the hot seat to sign the Saints’ long serving star ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham. With a price tag of £25 million, Schneiderlin is well within budget for both the Red Devils and the Gunners, and is the exact pedigree of player both teams need to further enhance their title credentials for next season.
A dynamic defensive midfielder, Schneiderlin has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier league for the last few seasons. After first drawing attention from Spurs last summer, he has been on the radar of numerous other clubs across Europe over the past year, displaying performances that have earned a breakthrough into the France National team.
Schneiderlin has made it clear that if a move away from the south coast was to happen, the opportunity to play Champions League football would be a crucial factor in his decision. After a disappointing European campaign for Arsenal last season and with United not qualifying, both teams will be aiming to progress and establish themselves as two strong competitors for their overseas counter-parts in the forthcoming seasons competition.
For United, Schneiderlin would be the perfect fit to replace the ageing Michael Carrick. Despite being 33, Carrick was an integral part of the Red Devils’ squad last season, and was sorely missed throughout the campaign as he succumbed to injuries. As well as being a good ball-winner, his passing abilities and creativity are almost reminiscent to the role Carrick displays so well in the United midfield. Being eight years younger, Schneiderlins extra yard of pace and energy could also benefit the rest of United’s attacking force, allowing players like Herrera and Mata to push further forward and leave the Saints man to mop up in the gaps left behind. Having already earned himself nine caps for a strong French national side, Schneiderlin should be one of the top names amongst Louis Van Gaal’s summer shopping list.
Despite the emergence of young star Francis Coquelin at United’s top four rivals Arsenal, Wenger’s men are still short in the midfield department. The fading presence of Arteta and Flamini highlight the importance of acquiring a player of Schneiderlin’s potential to compliment the role Coquelin has made his own in front of the back four. Schneiderlin’s ability to create opportunities could prove to be exceptionally dangerous when lined up alongside Arsenals tough tackling young Frenchmen, enabling the former Strasbourg player to enjoy the freedom of attacking in a more advanced role.
An experienced Premier League defensive midfielder who consistently performs on the largest stage is a big find for many top flight sides. Morgan Schneiderlin’s performances for Southampton over the course of the past two seasons have deservedly resulted in major interest from the elite band of clubs within the English Premier League, and regardless of which club he joins, Schneiderlin has the ability to become a crucial player.
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