Many German players and pundits have been very critical of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho for his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger, but Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker believes that his compatriot’s situation is just a case of bad luck.
Mertesacker and Schweinsteiger have played together for the national team on numerous occasions. Both players made their international debuts in 2004 and went on to win the 2014 World Cup with Die Mannschaft.
While there is certainly a huge amount of mutual respect between the two, the Arsenal captain does not have as strong an opinion as many of his compatriots about Schweinsteiger’s banishment from the Manchester United first team.
“It’s bad luck for him that he joined a club that has again changed its manager, and that the new manager doesn’t want him,” said Mertesacker, according to the Mirror.
“It can happen to you at any time in this business, and it’s a bit perverse, but Basti signed a good contract, and he knew where he was going. He just had bad luck with the way it worked out. He will draw his conclusions and I wish him all the best.”
Louis van Gaal signed Schweinsteiger from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich last summer. The initial excitement over the arrival soon died down as the German midfielder was beleaguered by injury woes and failed to have much of an impact on Man United’s season.
Van Gaal’s successor Jose Mourinho took the decision to exclude Schweinsteiger from his plans shortly after taking charge at Manchester United. The 32-year-old was banished to the reserves, a decision that was lambasted by Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Manchester United have not included Schweinsteiger in their Europa League squad, but he is part of their 25-man senior squad for the Premier League. However, Mourinho has stated that academy players will be selected ahead of the German.
Schweinsteiger, though, is still earning his £200,000-a-week wages at Old Trafford. The German even turned down a move to Sporting Lisbon this summer despite his controversial banishment.
The Bayern Munich legend has indeed signed a very lucrative contract and it appears he is keen to collect his last big pay packet from the club. The fact that he refused to move this summer shows that the alleged ‘mistreatment’ may not be affecting him too much.