Jose Mourinho has been impressed by the way Bastian Schweinsteiger has fought his way back from the precipice, with the self-proclaimed Special One calling his midfielder the “Powerful One” when it comes to his Manchester United future.
Wednesday’s comfortable EFL Cup win against West Ham saw the 32-year-old make his first United appearance in eight months, continuing a comeback few could have foreseen after being frozen out by the Portuguese.
Schweinsteiger’s stock plummeted so far that the club had to write him off as an asset in their accounts, so eyebrows were raised when the former Germany captain returned to first-team training at the end of October.
The comeback continued against the Hammers when he was brought off the bench towards the end of the 4-1 win - his first United appearance in 255 days.
“Everybody was happy,” Mourinho said. “I was happy, everybody was happy because when he was not training with the team, he did it in a professional way.
“When he started training with the team he was struggling a little bit because it is not easy, but he fought a lot against that and he managed to do that without injuries and the need to stop.
“So he was continuously working for a month and we thought that it could be a good opportunity for him to play a little bit. He is another one that can help us.
“During the season, you have injuries, you have suspension - for example in that match, (Paul) Pogba and (Marouane) Fellaini were both suspended, so two less midfield players (were) available for the match and he was ready.
“Of course he came on at 3-1 and for 10 minutes, but if we needed him before (that) he was ready. So his future is about this.
“He is another one in the squad that is working to try to have more chances.”
It was expected that Schweinsteiger’s return to training was mainly to aid a January exit. The midfielder held talks with Chicago Fire a fortnight ago about a move to Major League Soccer, but Mourinho says he could yet remain at Old Trafford depending on what happens in the next few weeks.
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