Schweinsteiger: Three Reds I knew would make it

Saturday 29 January 2022 12:00

Former Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has picked out three current Reds he always felt would have big futures at the club.

The Germany World Cup-winner signed for United in July 2015 and went on to make 35 appearances before departing in March 2017.

He played under the management of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, at a time of significant overhaul in terms of the playing squad.

Many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 title-winning side were coming to the end of their days with United, with several promising youngsters promoted to the first team in their stead.

Schweinsteiger was particularly impressed with fellow midfielder Scott McTominay, who was initially brought into the side by Mourinho, while Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard also caught the eye, with both enjoying their United breakthroughs in 2015/16 – Basti’s only full season with the club.

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“I tell you one thing: when I was with Mourinho and training with the second team and Under-16 team with United, I saw a lot of good players,” Schweinsteiger told the UTD Podcast.

“One was Scott McTominay, and I thought he will make it for sure, he had those abilities. So United has a good youth team - you just need to use them and give them the time to develop.

“I remember Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard when Louis van Gaal was coach. You could see they had something and now they’re playing for the national team.

“There’s definitely a big chance for United to get those youth players in the first team.”

Basti knows what it is like to be part of a club which places an emphasis on nurturing and promoting its own talent.

He came through at Bayern Munich in the early 2000s at a similar time to future Red Owen Hargreaves and would play a key role in a dominant decade for the Germans, alongside fellow homegrown stars like Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.

Schweinsteiger feels it’s important to have Academy-reared players like McTominay, Rashford and Lingard in the side as they represent the club’s ethos and offer a connection to supporters, although he adds that this is something he did feel he had when joining the club later in his career.

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“Correct, they have the DNA,” Bastian continued. “That’s very important. Not only for the connections in the squad but also for the players to feel ‘I’m a United player, I know what United means for me.’

“You know sometimes it takes time for a player from abroad, when they get into a club, to feel the DNA of a club.

“When I came to United, I could feel this DNA immediately; this love for the game, this love for playing for the club and to wear the emblem. I could feel that and I could even more feel that when I was talking to United supporters.”

Look out for the full UTD Podcast with Basti – you will be able to listen exclusively via the Manchester United app from 17:00 GMT on Monday 31 January.

The podcast will be made available on your usual podcast streaming platforms the following day.