“Oh, hello stranger!”
That’s likely what most of Manchester United’s first team players had to say to German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on Monday morning as he trained with them for the first team this season.
The 32-year-old had previously been frozen out by Jose Mourinho at United and had been forced to train with the reserves since the summer despite being one of United’s highest earning players on wages of over $158,000 per week.
Schweinsteiger, who won the 2014 World Cup with Germany and captained Die Mannschaft at EURO 2016, could be seen training with the first team as Jose Mourinho watched on at Carrington. United’s boss looked a little preoccupied as he waits to hear from the English FA if he will be charged for being sent off against Burnley at the weekend.
As for Schweinsteiger — he played in 31 games for Louis Van Gaal last season in all competitions — his inclusion in first team training could be for a few reasons.
One: Mourinho has realized he needs all the experienced players he can get as United has now won just one of their last seven PL games, failing to score in three of the last four.
Two: quite simply, with Ander Herrera to serve a one-game ban for being shown two yellow cards against Burnley, Mourinho is down a man in central midfield.
Either way, it was still highly surprising to see Schweinsteiger out training with the first team as rumors continue to link him with a move both Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League in January.