Jose Mourinho admits regret over his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger

James Ducker
Mourinho believes he could have handled his former German midfielder better - REUTERS

Jose Mourinho has admitted he regrets his handling of Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United but said he initially took the decision to banish the midfielder after questioning why he routinely fled England for treatment on injuries last season.

Schweinsteiger completed a move to Major League Soccer franchise Chicago Fire this week after a dismal spell at Old Trafford following his £6.6 million transfer from Bayern Munich in July 2015, when Louis van Gaal was United manager.

The World Cup winner often left Manchester to return home to Germany for treatment on knee and other injuries, moves that became unpopular with the rest of the United squad.

Mourinho cited that as a significant factor behind his decision to exile Schweinsteiger when he arrived as United manager last summer, with the former Germany captain being omitted from the club’s Europa League squad and written off as an asset in the published accounts.

But Schweinsteiger was eventually brought back into the fold in late October in what Mourinho described as a “human decision”, even if he failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League this season before his departure for Chicago.

“What I know about Bastian as a player was a season full of injuries, a season where he almost didn't play, a season where he was not having treatment in the club, it was outside the club and I thought that was not right, the mentality was not right, it was the kind of player I would not like to have in the squad,” Mourinho explained.

Was Van Gaal right to sell these players?

Of his initial treatment of Schweinsteiger, Mourinho said: “I do [regret it], yeah. I would let him be in the squad, I know that at that moment we had too many players, if you remember we had many players in these doubtful situations, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Andreas Pereira, Tyler Blackett, James Wilson.

"We had a huge squad in the beginning but after knowing him as a person and a professional and the way he was respecting my decisions as a manager, yes I regret [it] and there is no problem for me to admit it, because I have told him.

“He’s in the category of players that I feel sorry for something I did to him. I don't want to speak about him as a player, as would I buy or not buy [him]. I want to speak about him as a pro, as a human being and that was the last thing I told him before he left, ‘I was not right with you once, I have to be right with you now’.

“So when he was asking me to let him leave I had to say, ‘Yes, you can leave because I did it once, I cannot do it twice’so I feel sorry for the first period with him, he knows that. I will miss a good guy, a good pro, a good influence in training, a very good influence, so I could not stop him to go even though we have so many matches and we would probably need him.

“I had to let him go and now publicly wish him and his wife a very happy life in Chicago.”

Babbello March

 

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