Monday 13 July 2015

Profile: Morgan Schneiderlin

With the addition of Bastian  Schweinsteiger, the second of our midfield acquisitions has somewhat seemingly crept under the radar, but here we take a look at the career of our newest recruit, 25-year old French international Morgan Schneiderlin.

Schneiderlin moved to Southampton from Strasbourg in 2008 but it was far from an easy introduction to English football for the then 18 year old- Saints were in the midst of a rapid decline having just been relegated to League One.

Despite his obvious potential, Schneiderlin initially struggled with the physical, combative approach of the third tier's more "rough and ready" sides, but, having won promotion back to the Championship, he developed into one of the Saints most reliable and influential players.

Under the tutelage of first Nigel Adkins and- latterly- Mauricio Pochettino- Schneiderlin has blossomed into a genuine talent and, in 2014,  he gained senior international recognition for France having captained them at under-18 and under-19 level. 

It was Adkins who improved the defensive side of his game, when the then-Saints boss spotted his potential and encouraged the 23-year-old to adapt to the physical side of his game- to start harassing opponents and break up their attacks.  

He possesses a superb, Paul Scholes-esque range of passing, an insatiable work rate, is equally adept with either foot and, as well as his defensive capabilities, he has earned unanimous praise for starting his team's attacks from deep. 

When his signing was announced on Monday, Schneiderlin was quick to look to the future, but he also paid tribute to his former club following his departure:

"Once I learned that United wanted me, it was an easy decision to make, I have enjoyed seven happy years with Southampton and it's a club that will always be in my heart, but the chance to be part of this squad to help this great club be successful was too good to miss."

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