I was very interested to see where Morgan Schneiderlin would end up this summer – not because I had any interest in seeing him at Arsenal, but because I thought his signing would reveal a lot about the club who paid his price.
In my opinion, Morgan Schneiderlin is an above average player. He’s had a great few years at Southampton – who, you must remember, started in the Championship – and established himself as one of their key players two seasons ago.
But he’s far from the quality needed to challenge for the title, and that’s the quality that Arsenal must aim for.
It could be argued that the club just needs some depth in central midfield; that any player, better or worse than Coquelin, would be an improvement. It’s a good point, but one which gets blown out the water when you realise just how much money Schneiderlin wanted to sign for The Gunners.
Rumour has it that he was asking to be made the highest paid player at the Arsenal – a club which currently houses the likes of Mesut Özil, the world’s best no. 10, and Alexis Sanchez, one of the Premier League’s best attackers. A request such as this is simply laughable.
Even if he was asking to be paid 20 quid plus a signed picture of Nicklas Bendtner each week, I doubt he’d have much of an impact at the Emirates.
Francis Coquelin, a player who I’ve been extremely impressed with so far this season despite past doubts about his ability in possession, is younger, cheaper, and arguably better than the 25-year-old. Mikel Arteta, although struggling for fitness, is a much more natural leader and technician on the ball. And Flamini, well – he’s good pals with Özil.
Schneirderlin just isn’t worth his price tag.
But what does this reveal about Manchester United, the club who eventually gave in to the player’s demands? In my opinion, it highlights just how are they’ve fallen in the last couple of years.
Morgan is, with no disrespect, the sort of signing you’d expect to see from the likes of Liverpool or Tottenham over the past few seasons. Someone who may not be top quality, but has had enough praise from pundits to satisfy fans for another season and offer hope of a comeback that was never on.
I’m not convinced he’ll do well at United, and even if he does, I’d be amazed if it was enough to warrant his price/wages. Of course, you never know for certain with these deals, but I’d be surprised if any Arsenal fans look back at this transfer with regret come the end of the season.
I’m sure some Gooners will lament missing out on Schneiderlin if we haven’t signed a defensive midfielder by the end of the transfer window, but I truly believe the squad has the depth to cope. With Coquelin, Arteta, and a whole host of central midfield options, I just don’t think it is worth spending a lot of money on that area when the player who comes in could end up in the reserves.
What do you think? Should Arsenal have signed Schneiderlin? Is he better than what we have? Will he succeed at Manchester United? Let me know in the comments below.