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10 Aug 2015

Redknapp raves: £135k-a-week playmaker could be 'signing of the century' if he remains fit

The transfer window is still open, but so far, who is the best signing of the summer? Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke both have the potential to be big hits at Anfield, but according to ex-Red Jamie Redknapp, Manchester United may have already secured one of the best signings of this year, or indeed the last 15 years.

In his column for the Daily Mail over the weekend, Redknapp noted Schweinsteiger's 'poor injury record' but tipped him to become a massive player for Man United:

"Schweinsteiger [cost: reportedly on £135k-a-week] could be one of the signings of the century".

The key phrase here is 'when he plays'. Schweinsteiger is a bona-fide world-class player, and he's proven his worth at every level of the game, but his recent injury history is a massive cause for concern:

* 15 injuries in the last 4 seasons (averages almost 4 injuries per season)

* 318 days on the sidelines (70 games missed)

* Misses an average of 18 games every season.

If Man United can keep Schweinsteiger fit, then he'll almost certainly be a major asset, but the physicality of the Premier League is not the ideal place for an injury-ravaged player to maintain fitness (!)

Back in 2011, Liverpool were linked with a move to Schweinsteiger, but at the time, Anfield legend John Barnes totally dismissed the idea. He noted:

"We have been linked with a lot of big names, such as David Villa, Eden Hazard and Bastein Schweinsteiger, At this moment in time, I don't think they will be coming to Liverpool"

Steve Nicol, Didi Hamann and Jan Molby are also big fans of Schweinsteiger. When asked last summer who he'd advise Brendan Rodgers to buy, Nicol told Talksport:

"[Bastien] Schweinsteiger would be fantastic in the middle of the park for Liverpool. Maybe not a Souness in terms of physicality, but a player who can defend, and also open up defences with his skill"

After watching Bayern Munich dismantle Arsenal in last season's Champions League, Hamann tweeted:

"Bayern tore an average Arsenal team apart today. [Bastien] Schweinsteiger said he [Wilshere] is top class, but what was he meant to say? Schweini showed today who is world class and who isn't"

In a column last year for Eurosport this week, Molby observed:

"Now that Schweinsteiger has Javi Martinez behind him to protect him when he goes forward, he is on another level and seems to be improving all the time too"

Given his injury history over the last 4 years, it's probably a good thing that Liverpool failed to sign Schweinsteiger, though it's hard to deny that it would've been a spectacular transfer.

One things for sure - even with the injury history, £14m for a player of Schweinsteiger's class and experience is a steal, especially if he remains fit.

One of the transfers of the century, though? That remains to be seen, but Schweinsteiger will have to put in some amazing performances to eclipse the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres (for LFC), Luis Suarez (on-field indiscretions aside), and, of course, Adam Lallana. Oh, wait...

Author: Jaimie K


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