There is a strong feeling that Morgan Schneiderlin will leave Southampton this summer for pastures new.
After 7 years at the club, which have seen Southampton reinvent themselves and return from The Championship to become one of the better teams in The Premier League, the Frenchman is perhaps justified in wanting to take his next career step.
At 25 Schneiderlin has developed into one of the best anchor men in the top flight. He’s diligent, efficient with his movement and reads the game beautifully. He also has decent pace and good shooting prowess for a defensively-minded midfielder. In many ways then, he’s the ideal player for the engine room.
Saints legend Matt le Tissier thinks that his club have seen the last of him in the red and white stripes. He said recently:
“It’s probably more likely that he’ll leave than stay,” Le Tissier told Sky Sports. “The big question is whether a top-four side meets his valuation.
And, in the last couple of days, the player himself has been quoted in The Guardian as saying:
“The negotiations are ongoing and should be completed in the coming days, hopefully before the resumption of [Southampton’s pre-season] training next week,”
So who needs him most? Le Tissier thinks he knows:
“Out of those sides it is Manchester United that need him most as they still require strengthening in that position.
We feel that Manchester United would be doing excellent business to bring in the Frenchman. United have been linked with Arda Turan and Bastian Schweinsteiger of late but, at 25, Schneiderlin offers a much longer-term investment and someone who can grow into the boots of Michael Carrick, who is a very similar player.
But, somewhat strangely, Manchester United don’t seem to have prioritised his signing. Le Tissier continued:
“It sounds like they’ve been looking at Schweinsteiger but if they don’t get him then Schneiderlin becomes their number one target.”
Arsenal, who are also reportedly interested, have been short of a really top quality anchor man since Patrick Vieira left the club a decade ago. Abou Diaby showed real promise but has had terrible luck with injuries throughout his career.
But there is a sense among some that the emergence of fellow countryman, Francis Coquelin, has sated Arsene Wenger’s desire for an expensive central midfielder. We feel that this could be a costly mistake. Coquelin was excellent for Arsenal last season but Schneiderlin has more to his game in terms of passing and overall technique.
As for Tottenham, they have reportedly had a long standing interest and the midfielder would surely improve them noticeably. But their inability to get into the Champions League places at the end of last season could be crucial to their ambitions with the Frenchman.
Alas, the fact that Mauricio Pochettino managed Schneiderlin at Southampton could yet be their saving grace – especially if the other two clubs don’t pull out their fingers out and make a substantial bid for the player soon.
In summary we agree with Le Tissier that Manchester United need him most and that he looks every bit the heir apparent to the brilliant Michael Carrick.
Here are some of Schneiderlin’s better moments.