Multiple media outlets have reported that Everton have agreed a fee in the range of £22m for 27 year old Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin joined Manchester United from Southampton in the summer of 2015 for a reported fee of £24m. He joined United when they were managed by Louis Van Gaal. While some wanted him to play more, he made 25 Premier League starts in his first season at the club. But Schneiderlin has found himself out of favour with new boss Jose Mourinho and out of the team, making a mere three appearances in the Premier League, all from the bench.
If the proposed move goes through, Schneiderlin would reunite with former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, who managed him during the 2014-2015 season. His time at Southampton and partially under Koeman had some of the biggest clubs in England looking at him. He’ll hope to recapture that form at Everton.
If he moves to Goodison Park, Schneiderlin would automatically improve the quality of the Everton midfield. Individual quality isn’t a problem for Schneiderlin. If there would be a problem with this proposed move, it would be the fit.
Ronald Koeman already has a lot of players competing for the two midfield slots in his 4-2-3-1 formation. Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye, and James McCarthy have all made five or more starts there this season, Tom Cleverly, a natural central midfielder, has often been pushed to the left wing for game time, and both Darron Gibson and Muhamed Besic are natural central midfielders recovering from injury.
While there are a lot of players competing for the spot Schnederlin would want he would likely be able to get it because he was just bought for big money and because he is a quality player. The standout performer in Everton’s midfield this season, and a player Koeman would want to keep in the team, has been Gueye. The summer signing has proved to be a fantastic player for Everton. The problem would be that he and Schneiderlin fill a similar role in a team.
Above are two stat radars made by Ted Knutson. While these radars struggle to tell the absolute quality of a player, they are good for showing the style or role of player. On the top is Gueye from last season at Aston Villa, while on the bottom is Schneiderlin from 2014/2015, the last time he was managed by Koeman. While they aren’t exactly the same, the two radars show the two players play similar roles in teams. They’re both meant to break up opposition play, win the ball back for their team, but don’t provide a whole lot in the final third. Just for good measure, below is a radar from Gueye’s first six matches at Everton.
It will be interesting to see how Koeman fits both in the same team, especially when Everton play teams that are willing to sit back against them. While they’ll be great at stopping their opponents from playing, it would be tough for them to get much going going forward with Schneiderlin and Gueye, two players that are not particularly creative, attempting to build up much of the play.
If Everton wrap this deal up, they’ll be buying themselves a good player. How exactly Schneiderlin will fit into the team remains to be seen, but if Koeman can fit him in the move will be a plus for the team at a not outrageous price.