Morgan Schneiderlin wants to emulate Roy Keane at Manchester United.
The French midfielder, who moved to Old Trafford for £25m (€34m) this summer, has insisted he will not be affected by the transfer fee and will only consider his time at United a success if he wins trophies.
Schneiderlin wants to cement his place as a starter in the France midfield ahead of Euro 2016, on home soil, next summer, and believes that under Louis van Gaal, who he described as “super-strict”, he can improve his game.
“Roy Keane is a legend here and I hope to become as important as that,” said Schneiderlin.
“But he has a different personality to mine. I speak less than him on the pitch. But I hope one day to have the same impact he had on the team. His fights with Patrick Vieira when United and Arsenal were competing, they were memorable. I watched a documentary about the rivalry between the two, and that was interesting.”
Schneiderlin also admitted that scoring five minutes into his United debut in a friendly match against Club America was one of the highlights of his career.
“Along with playing at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and reaching the Premier League with Southampton in 2012 — it made me think of all the people I love.”
In an interview with France Football magazine, Schneiderlin recalled his first conversation with United’s coach Van Gaal.
“We had an honest and open chat, he told me what Manchester United was all about, what he expected from me and what would happen on our tour in the United States,” he said.
“He is super-strict, but that’s how we progress. He told me that it would be important that I listen, that I have the desire to always improve, to work hard. He explained how he worked and how he wanted United to play.”
Schneiderlin shrugged off the pressure that his huge transfer fee — the third-highest between two Premier League teams — might have on him.
“It proves that I have credibility, it rewards my efforts, but I’m not obsessed by the price,” he explained.
“It’s a huge amount of money, and I know that it will get mentioned if I play bad matches. Many players might be bothered by it, but not me: I can take a step back from that.”
The 25-year-old added that playing for United was not the limit of his ambition. He now wants trophies and a regular place in the France side.
“To be at Manchester United is a dream, there are no words to describe it. But I don’t want stop here. I’m not here as a tourist. I don’t want the only thing on my CV to say: ‘He played for Manchester United.’ I will be happy and proud when I have won titles with this club.”
He added: “[France coach] Didier Deschamps will forever remain important because he threw me in at the deep end, he trusted me at a World Cup. I have to prove him right. So when it comes to the France team, the dream is to win the next Euros. But, when I close my eyes, the first thing I want, is to be in the squad for the Euros. It would be a disappointment and a personal failure if I was not in the squad for the Euros.”
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