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Manchester United take a big gamble on Bastian Schweinsteiger

Can the Germany legend stay healthy often enough to help his new team win trophies?

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Manchester United have completed their second big transfer of the summer, reaching an agreement to sign Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich. He will reportedly earn around £10 million per season, similar to his wages at Bayern, and will sign on for three seasons.

Schweinsteiger, when healthy, is undoubtedly one of the world's top midfielders. He's also 30 years old and has been hampered by injuries over the last two seasons, making Bayern reluctant to hand him a new long-term contract on huge wages. When Schweinsteiger told Bayern that he wanted a new challenge in his career, they were willing to cash in -- especially with the likes of Pierre Hojbjerg and Gianluca Gaudino waiting in the wings.

United's midfield is currently thin, and overly dependent on 33-year-old Michael Carrick staying fit and in form. Ander Herrera and Daley Blind had solid seasons, but neither is the all-around midfielder that Schweinsteiger has been throughout his career. He fills a massive need for the Red Devils.

This transfer is similar to United's capture of Robin van Persie, who they're shipping off to Fenerbahce. From a pure transfer economics standpoint, this is a bad move by United. They're buying a player with almost no resale value, who could very well be useless in the last year of his extremely lucrative contract. But they think that this world class veteran is the difference between titles and no titles, and they're rich enough that they're willing to take that risk. Schweinsteiger's best performances for Germany and Bayern over the last two years have been brilliant, so if they think they know how to keep him healthy, it's a good move.

But there's also the chance that it could backfire spectacularly. He only made 28 appearances last season, and he didn't look like the best version of himself in at least half of those. If he's not healthy a lot more often next season, this is going to be a huge waste of money for United.

No pressure, United medical staff.


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