Manchester United signed Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton for a reported fee of £25m in July 2015. The Frenchman had formed an effective partnership with Victor Wanyama for the Saints and he was wanted by clubs such as Arsenal as well. With Carrick ageing and United searching for a title winning squad, Schneiderlin seemed liked a good fit. He’s done a good job for United and they look like a much better side with him in it. Their win percentage is significantly better with him in the squad as even if he might not always control the midfield, he provides the much needed extra protection.
At Southampton, Schneiderlin was voted Fan’s Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year in 2012/13 and he put in good performances consistently. Over the last three seasons, his pass percentage has not been lower than 85%. That shows how good he is on the ball. If we look at statistics from whoscored.com, Schneiderlin so far has made 2.6 interceptions per game and 1.7 clearances per game both last season and this season so far. He’s only made 2.9 tackles per game this season compared to last season’s 3.7. But that number could increase as he plays more number of matches.
One of the problems with Schneiderlin is that he often dives into challenges. Though, that does come with playing in defensive midfield, it can cause a big problem if he gets booked early on. His disciplinary record has gotten worse over the last three years. In the 2013/14 he was committing 1.5 fouls per game which increased to 1.8 per game last season. That was more than any other United player except Marouane Fellaini. This season, it’s up to 2.3 fouls per game already. Although United need their midfielders to contribute more goals, Schneiderlin is not one known for his goal scoring ability. Netting just 4 times last season, he’s scored the solitary goal for Untied so far. He focuses more on the defensive aspect and this allows his midfield partner to go further forward and join the attack. This also shows as he creates less than a chance per match which is understandable as he plays so deep.
Morgan Schneiderlin has already become a vital player for United and so it was very hard to understand why he wasn’t starting when United suffered a slump in form in December. In the 16 games he has started, United have lost just 1 keeping 10 clean sheets. He not only has the highest pass completion of all the United players, he also makes the most tackles per game. It is easy to see that Schneiderlin could become a crucial player at the heart of United’s midfield for many years to come.