With a transfer to Old Trafford imminent, one must ponder as to exactly why the Frenchman, in all his understated ability, holds the key to United’s progression under Louis van Gaal.

14 games, 12 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss.
Those were Manchester United’s statistics whenever Michael Carrick started for the Red Devils this season. His importance is unmatched and his ability unquestionable. However, there was one match, where the English International came undone- The home defeat to Southampton. Though the narrative was more affixed on Koeman besting Van Gaal in his own backyard, the match was important for another reason. Michael Carrick was rendered utterly in effectual by a thin yet uncompromising wall known as Morgan Schneiderlin.

While the manner in which Southampton are turning into the supply line to the top brass, it is in no way surprising. Koeman led his new-look Red and Whites to a record best seventh position in the league. Despite selling nearly half his starting eleven, the former PSV manager bettered the sides’ 8th place finish and in doing so, cultivated yet another crop of unbridled talent.

Despite being blessed with some of the country’s best youth players, Southampton’s cinderella story from League One to Europa League, has had a silent hero in the form of Schneiderlin. The tall frenchman has spent four years helping Southampton win promotion from League One, and is now looking towards the next step.


. Morgan-Schneiderlin

While the manner in which Southampton are turning into the supply line to the top brass, it is in no way surprising. Koeman led his new-look Red and Whites to a record best seventh position in the league. Despite selling nearly half his starting eleven, the former PSV manager bettered the sides’ 8th place finish and in doing so, cultivated yet another crop of unbridled talent.

Despite being blessed with some of the country’s best youth players, Southampton’s cinderella story from League One to Europa League, has had a silent hero in the form of Schneiderlin. The tall frenchman has spent four years helping Southampton win promotion from League One, and is now looking towards the next step.

After Southampton saw star players like Lallana and Lambert, as well as starlets like Chambers and Shaw, exit en masse, Schneiderlin was aggrieved that he wasn’t let go by the club. However. it wasna t long before Schneiderlin would understand why.
Mauricio Pochettino slowly built the team around the 25 year old, adding the firepower of Sane, Tadic and Pelle in front, and strengthening the defence with the likes of Bertrand, Alderweireld. With Schneiderlin patrolling in front of the back four alongside Victor Wanyama, they also boasted a defensive record second only to champions Chelsea. Despite their attack fizzling out by January, Schneiderlin steadied the Saint’s ship, straight to a 7-place finish.

However, Schneiderlin now feels strongly, that his tenure at Southampton has reached it’s ideological conclusion.

I’m ready for a move from Southampton this summer, I know that I will go trough some difficult moments this summer”
“My priority is to keep playing in the Premier league. I feel very well in England. This league has so many qualities”

Schneiderlin has spoken candidly of his desire to play Champions League football in recent months, and with his desire to remain in the premier league, he is not short of suitors, particularly Manchester United.

Before the arrival of Ander Herrera last summer, United’s last acquisition in midfield was that of the perennially under performing Oliviera Anderson. In the Spaniard, United had a gifted midfielder, blessed with both vision and skill in plenty.
However, his signing, and his 7 goals in the season, served only to paper over the cracks of United’s midfield, as they were still left without a Defensive midfield presence, that van Gaal’s system harks for.

Michael Carrick-Injured

United need a system where Carrick is not indispensible

In such a context, it is necessary to bring up Michael Carrick, as many see Schneiderlin as his replacement. In reality however, it is Schneiderlin’s differences in relation to Carrick, that make him the perfect signing.
United’s dependance on the 33 year old was quite evident for the world to see, as they reached cloud nine with him, and crumbled to fourth place in his absence. The dependence on such a pivotal figure, has been one of the downfalls of Louis van Gaal’s roller coaster of a season.

Schneiderlin is a rare breed of midfielder who couples the finesse of a regista, with the destroyer qualities needed in that deep-lying role. Chelseaa s Nemanja Matic was the only midfielder to make more than his 79 tackles last season, and Schneiderlin also averaged 2.6 interceptions per game compared to Carricka s 1.7.

We can also gauge Schneiderlina s suitability to United by comparing him to the rest of the top foura s first choice holding midfielders, and the stats indicate he is more than a match for Matic, Manchester Citya s Fernandinho and Arsenala s emergent star Francis Coquelin.

Schneiderlin’s all-round capabilities should seem him work well in a double-pivot, single-pivot and a rotating three man midfield. A far greater repertoire than that offered by Carrick. In a trio of himself, Herrera and either Di Maria, Fellaini or Carrick, could provide United with depth and quality in the key areas of midfield.

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Schneiderlin’s abilities and accomplishments have not flown under the radar, as resident pundit Gary Neville has waxed lyrical about his importance,

a I think he could play at any of the top clubs in the league,a said Gary Neville, after watching the Frenchman play a key role as Saints defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in January. a I’m talking about Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, United, Liverpool, Tottenham. He’s that good. Over a two-to-three-year period now he’s shown himself to be the real thing.a

It’s not been an overnight rise to the summit for the Frenchman, as his tenacity and hard work has defined his rise through the ranks, firmly knocking at the doorstep of the Champions League.

With their interest in German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger teetering rapidly, Schweinsteiger looks set to be United’s second summer signing, and possibly their most important.
At 25, the midfielder still has a lot to offer. His commanding presence and calm stature bodes well for his image as a leader, which United desperately need in midfield.

The road has been long for Schneiderlin, but the hour is perfect for his arrival onto the big stages of European football, with a giant like Manchester United and a manager like Louis van Gaal