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Schweinsteiger joins list of Louis van Gaal exiles

Friday 24th March 2017
It was announced this week that Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger would depart the club for Chicago Fire with immediate effect. The former Bayern Munich man has been used sparingly since Jose Mourinho arrived at Old Trafford and now his brief spell in Manchester has come to an end.

A World Cup winner, German football great and one of the most recognisable names in the game. Schweinsteiger has achieved everything there is to achieve in the modern day era throughout an illustrious career. However, despite all his accolades he never quite managed to impose his ability and stature at Manchester United. Signed in 2015 by Louis Van Gaal to the delight of the Old Trafford faithful, as the man who knew all about the Dutch manager's "philosophy", and could help steady the midfield conundrum the Red Devils seemed to have on their plate.

However, an injury littered season and a new faster-paced league to adapt to at a late age got the better of the German. Certainly, not the fairy tale spell that all will have wanted, although Schweinsteiger isn't the only Van Gaal signing that hasn't been a success at Old Trafford. In fact, the 13 players signed by the Dutchman have endured a very mixed time in Manchester. Let's take a look at how each one has fared.

Luke Shaw

The promising young full-back has endured a real roller coaster ride since signing for Van Gaal's Manchester United in 2014. In his first campaign, he seemed to struggle to get himself up to the high standards of both his new club and manager. However, at the start of his second season, Shaw hit the ground running and his early form was nothing short of spectacular. In a cruel turn of fate Shaw suffered a season-ending double leg break and since then has struggled for fitness and form, with Mourinho seemingly reluctant to take the gamble on him. Many reports suggest he is up for sale in the summer but only time will tell.

Ander Herrera

One of if not the most successful Signing under Van Gaal's stewardship. Herrera is a fans favourite at Old Trafford and has flourished further under new boss Mourinho. With energy and ability in abundance, the Spaniard has proved the ideal midfielder whatever the situation. He has most definitely been one of the best players at Old Trafford during Mourinho's tenure also.

Marcos Rojo

It seemed all but certain that the Argentinean defenders days at Old Trafford were numbered after falling out of favour with Van Gaal. However, under Jose Mourinho, the man signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 has turned a corner and now seems to be one of the first picks in defence. Albeit at centre-half as oppose to left back where Rojo seems slightly out of sorts.

Angel Di Maria

There's nothing to write on Van Gaal's most expensive signing that hasn't already been written. He only lasted a single season under the Dutchman before moving to Paris. The mentality of the player and his supposed reluctance to even be in Manchester at all seemed to be the root of the issue, and after an incident involving a break-in at his house the Argentine's mind was firmly made up - and he departed just a year after signing, for £10m less also. Another United number 7 who failed to meet expectations.

Daley Blind

It seemed only natural when Van Gaal took over Manchester United that he would recruit one of the fellow Dutchman he guided to a third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil, and his choice of addition was the versatile Daley Blind. Since Van Gaal left last summer Blind's game time has depleted by some way after being ever present in the defence last campaign, mainly at centre-half. Mourinho seems to be adverse to using the Dutchman anywhere on the pitch but left-back and even that hasn't seen him used regularly, it seems the jury is very much out on his long-term future under his new Portuguese boss.

Radamel Falcao

Most definitely the biggest disappointment of all the Van Gaal signings, a surprise deadline day loan signing in 2014 that gave the fans a buzz they hadn't felt in years. However, with only four goals and very little impact all round his loan spell remained just that and he wasn't signed up on a permanent deal.

Victor Valdes

In the first winter window under Van Gaal, Manchester recruited the former Barcelona 'keeper Victor Valdes, with the two having a great past relationship it was seen that the deal was to help Valdes regain his fitness after a lengthy injury lay-off. The World Cup winner made only two appearances after a dispute with Van Gaal and that left him completely frozen out from the squad altogether. He was even loaned to Standard liege before his contract expired last summer.

Memphis Depay

The second Dutchman signed by Van Gaal and the second player to wear number 7 for Manchester United, Memphis Depay was the first incoming of the summer of 2015. He arrived with lots of excitement and promise and early signs proved to live up to his hype, however as the season went on his game time shrunk and he was recently sold by his new boss Mourinho in January. Certainly a huge disappointment he never hit the heights many thought he could.

Morgan Schneiderlin

The French midfielder is the second player that was given the axe by new boss Mourinho in January after failing to force his way into the Portuguese's plans. Even Van Gaal began to lose faith in him before his own spell at Old Trafford came to a close after a huge dip in form and what seemed a crisis of confidence after to a big-money move from Southampton.

Matteo Darmian

An Italian full back that is comfortable playing either side, he struggled to stay fit under Van Gaal and hasn't pinned down a permanent place under Mourinho either. It would be no shock if he was moved on in the summer with reported interest from Roma, another one of Van Gaal's signings that seemed to be a fish out of the water almost as soon as they signed.

Sergio Romero

Signed on a free transfer, the Argentine international has remained under Mourinho exactly what he was under Van Gaal, a firm number two choice in-between the sticks. Not the best of goalkeepers by any stretch of the imagination but has played in the majority of the Europa League games this season and hasn't let his side down as it stands.

Anthony Martial

As much a fan favourite at Old Trafford as the man at the top of this list, Anthony Martial was signed from Monaco for big money on deadline day in the summer of 2015 and was arguably United's best player last season. Deployed mainly on the left but a striker by trade, the French prospect raised his stock high with goals and glitzy footwork in abundance. He would probably be classed as Van Gaal's best signing, all be it he has struggled to be at the forefront of his new manager's plans but still being of a young age with plenty of time on his hands stands well in his favour.

The list of Van Gaal signings at United seems to struggle for players of any real success, a harsh truth to realise but out of the 13 players brought in several have already left and more could well be on their way in the summer should Mourinho continue to mould the squad in his image. Schweinsteiger may leave Manchester a relative failure in some people's eyes, but perhaps the reality is he was never the right fit for the club at all, much like many others signed by the former manager.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.

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