Speculations and rumours have already suggested that Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin are all set to leave Old Trafford soon. Is it a nice move or a bold choice by Manchester United and Jose Mourinho? Have a read of my thoughts below.
Both Schneiderlin and Depay arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2015, with an almost identical transfer fee. And honestly, since then neither of them have become a regular starter in the team. Louis van Gaal, who was in charge of the team in 2015, liked to shuffle his squad more often than the man at the helm now; Jose Mourinho. So under the Iron Tulip, both the players were handed a considerable amount of chances in the 2015-16 season. But after the arrival of Jose Mourinho this season, both these players become out of favour.
The arrival of Jose Mourinho is not the only reason that these players were shunned from the first team. But, the summer signings also played a major role. The record signing Paul Pogba coupled with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s arrival at Old Trafford meant that there will be more than enough players for a particular position – that lead to plenty of internal competition to get into the squad, and both Depay and Schneiderlin found themselves way down the pecking order.
It was only a matter of time for Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic to find their feet, who all are now regulars in the first team almost irreplaceable because of their form and supreme quality.
Let’s be little sincere here, both Depay and Schneiderlin have made eight appearances this season mostly as a substitute, which in my opinion is not enough. Simply they were not given the chances to show their levels and quality. After the first month, Manchester United began having a hard time with results, but since then the side the self-proclaimed Special One has picked has been winning, and you have to say their exclusion from the team has been backed up by results.
Antoine Griezmann is strongly linked with United. So, I see a genuine reason to offload Depay. And again let’s be frank here, Depay who was depicted as ‘the next Ronaldo’ by some fans, has performed nowhere near that extent except for a couple of occasions (one of which was the performance against Midtjylland in the Europa league last season). Depay has disappointed in that iconic no. 7 jersey, yes I would say so and as a fan, it hurts that there is no undisputed contender for that famous number since Ronaldo left. Of course, Griezmann can be the one but, I won’t celebrate that early because the die hasn’t been cast yet.
As I said earlier, Griezmann maybe the reason to offload Depay. But, I see no reason to sell Schneiderlin. Though I would agree that it is frustrating for any player to sit out and not involved in the action. But, sometimes you have to trust the manager (just like Mkhitaryan did), and I’m pretty sure Schneiderlin is not very far behind his United counterparts.
Michael Carrick is nearing the end of his playing career and I think Schneiderlin can be his ideal replacement at the CDM spot. At 27, he still has a lot to offer as I believe he still possesses strong attributes for that position. His tackle per game was amongst the best (3.7) in the 2014-15 season, and his passing accuracy has never been dipped below 85% in England, which is pretty good. He topped the interceptions chart in the 2012-13 season, and all these stats clearly give us the idea about his quality.
Manchester United are a club who plays a lot of matches every season and often faces fixture pile up when the manager has to rotate the squad to avoid fatigue and keep players fresh. Squad depth is essential for teams like Manchester United who are involved in multiple competitions during a single season. Players like Schneiderlin expand the squad depth and gives the manager more avenues to explore, and that’s why he should stay.