Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho explained why Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to first team training at his Europa League press conference. The German midfielder had been banished to the reserves as soon as Mourinho arrived at the club in the summer. Deemed surplus to requirements, Mourinho didn’t want him around.
So why the change of heart? Well, the Special One felt that it was necessary to make a human decision. He told journalists that a decision was made last week: “Schweinsteiger is back. We made that decision last Thursday. We phoned him last Friday so he could join the team last Monday.
“It was a decision based on fact that we are in a period of the season where it’s really difficult with everybody together.
“The problem of tactical work that I like to do with 21 players max, to have 23/24 at a time doesn’t happen.
“Looking at Bastian and the way he was working professionally every day with the fitness coach, we think it’s a professional decision to bring him back to the team.
“We will be much better prepared, much better conditions, in case his future decision is to leave the club. In this moment we have no problems in midfield like we have in defence. If we do have problems in midfield, he’s one option for us.
“It’s a decision that can be positive for the group.”
Mourinho is right about the decision having a positive effect on the team. Given the way Luke Shaw and Juan Mata openly celebrated, Schweinsteiger is a popular member of the first team. Players like to look out for one another when they’re being treated poorly too.
Schweinsteiger won’t play a part in United’s Europa League match at Fenerbahce tomorrow because he’s not in registered to play in the competition. If he does make a Premier League appearance this season, one would imagine it’s a long way down the line.