Schweinsteiger used to ‘irritate’ Man Utd stars during his spell at Old Trafford

When Louis van Gaal signed World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger back in 2015, Manchester United fans thought that they had hit the jackpot, but it didn't quite go to plan.

The midfielder was well past his prime and during his disappointing two-year spell at Old Trafford, he used to 'irritate' his United teammates.

The footballing world was shocked to discover that United only paid a fee of just £6.5million to Bayern Munich for his services, who was managed by Pep Guardiola at the time.

However, Guardiola knew exactly what he was doing with Schweinsteiger and United took the bait.

It was often reported that during his time at Old Trafford, Schweinsteiger would leave Manchester and return to Germany to receive treatment on his knee, and this frustrated the squad, causing conflict between the dressing room and the coaching staff.

The decorated German only made 18 Premier League appearances throughout his two seasons at United, and although his transfer fee appeared to be a bargain at the time, it cost United £1.5million for every league appearance he made due to his 200k-a-week salary.

Here, Daily Star Sport take a look at his unsavoury time in Manchester…

Van Gaal's unfortunate timing

Van Gaal joined United in 2014 after he left his role as manager of the Dutch National team.

The former Barcelona and Munich manager was instantly tasked with replacing Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Matic and his failure to replace players ultimately set the tone for his unsuccessful tenure at United.

Van Gaal’s biggest problem was signing the right players. Most of the signings didn't live up to their expectations, putting pressure on the squad because so many key figures had left.

Schweinsteiger played under Van Gaal between 2009-2011 when the Dutchman had a brief spell in charge with the German giants, but the player he received in 2015 was a different player to the one that he previously managed.

All 18 league appearances for Schweinsteiger came under Van Gaal, and he played 31 games in all competitions that season including six in the Champions League.

He wasn't the same player, but it wasn't a total flop initially.

However, Van Gaal was relieved of his duties just hours after he led United to an FA Cup success and then Jose Mourinho stepped in.

Was it right to sack Van Gaal after winning the FA Cup? Comment below

Banished to the U23's

Mourinho was brought in for the 2016/17 season following the departure of Van Gaal, and almost immediately dropped Schweinsteiger and sent him to train with the United's under-23 side.

Schweinsteiger was then also omitted from their Europa League squad and even written off as an asset in their published accounts.

Mourinho only featured Schweinsteiger four times during his first season in charge at United, as the German didn't play a single minute of league football.

Van Gaal hit out at Mourinho in an interview with Sport Bild, slamming his treatment of the legendary midfielder, as he said: “Schweinsteiger was older, of course, but not too old. Still, his body was not able to keep up with the high demands of the Premier League.

“Bayern sold him to us as fit player, but, in reality, physically he had reached the end. How Mourinho treated him after me, Schweini did not deserve this."

Perhaps the treatment of Schweinsteiger was pretty harsh, especially for a player that has created such a legacy, but was Mourinho's reasoning justified if he was injury ridden, constantly fleeing the country?

Schweinsteiger was sold to MLS side Chicago Fire at the end of the 2016/17 season and following the sale Mourinho said: “What I know about Bastian as a player was a season full of injuries.

“A season where he almost didn’t play, a season where he was not having treatment in the club, it was outside the club and I thought that was not right, the mentality was not right, it was the kind of player I would not like to have in the squad.”

The happy ending in America

In March 2017, United allowed Schweinsteiger to join MLS side Chicago Fire and the midfielder made 92 appearances over a two-year period in America.

Schweinsteiger began to enjoy his football again and scored eight times as he helped Chicago back to the playoffs after a five-year draught, leading to the club offering the German a one-year contract extension.

Chicago's playoff run was short lived however, after Real Salt Lake ended their MLS cup hopes in a 2-1 victory over Schweinsteiger's side, despite the midfielder scoring from range.

The relaxed style of play suited the ex-Bayern Munich ace, who retired in October 2019 after a professional career spanning 18 years.

Schweinsteiger announced shortly after his retirement that he will be accompanying live broadcasts of football matches as an expert in Qatar for the next three years, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Get your hands on your club's special edition 2021/22 annual. Find out more here.

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