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Thursday 8 December 2016

Luke Shaw: Schweinsteiger can bring Man United to a new level

Shaw says experience of German will be crucial to Red Devils in hunt for trophies

Schweinsteiger has been plagued by ankle and knee injuries
Schweinsteiger has been plagued by ankle and knee injuries

Luke Shaw has backed Bastian Schweinsteiger to be the difference in Manchester United’s quest for trophies.

The German joined the Reds last month for £14.4m from Bayern Munich after spending his entire senior career with the Bavarian side.

After collecting 21 pieces of silverware during his stint in the Bundesliga, Shaw believes the World Cup winner will be a huge boost for the club.

“He’s a massive legend,” the 20-year-old said. “For someone with that much experience to come into the team will be vital to help us push for some trophies this season.”

“He’s one of the most humble guys I’ve come across. He’s not not too loud and he’s quite funny at the same time. It’s nice to have a German around in the dressing room.”

Shaw has also struck up a strong early friendship with another new signing, Memphis Depay, who made a £31m switch from PSV Eindhoven at the start of the summer.

Making his debut during the club’s pre-season tour, Depay also scored his first goal for the Reds in the win over San Jose Earthquakes, and the United left-back has admitted that he has been excited by what he’s seen so far from the Dutchman.

“I’ve got on well with Memphis Depay. He’s a different character,” Shaw added. “It’s good for the changing room and he’s confident about his own ability.

“It’s something new to have but it’s very good to have.”

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has offered Pedro Rodriguez a role alongside Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay in a new-look front three at United in order to convince the Barcelona forward to complete a £22million move to Old Trafford.

Spain international Pedro, who has a pounds 22?million escape clause in his contract, has been urged to stay by manager Luis Enrique. But with the 28-year-old determined to escape the shadow of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar at Barcelona to secure regular football elsewhere, Pedro could make his farewell appearance for the European champions against Roma in the Gamper Trophy season curtain-raiser at the Nou Camp tonight before finalising a transfer to United.

Pedro has told friends he is keen to move to Old Trafford and it is understood that Van Gaal has made it clear to the Canary Islander that he would form part of an attacking three with Rooney and summer signing Depay after choosing to adopt a 4-3-3 formation this season.

After tinkering with a variety of formations last season, Van Gaal believes the three-pronged attack - last used by United when Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez helped secure a Premier League-Champions League double in 2008 - offers the flexibility and fluidity required to challenge in the league and in Europe.

Having sold Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce this summer after rejecting the chance to sign Radamel Falcao on permanently, Van Gaal believes that Rooney can score more than 20 goals this season as the spearhead of United’s attack.

And the Dutchman is convinced that Pedro, who scored 98 goals in 318 games for Barcelona, can provide the goal threat and pace on the right side of the three in order to complete his attacking option at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, United have discovered the full cost of missing out on Champions League football last season by falling to 20th position in Uefa’s latest club coefficient rankings - four places below neighbours Manchester City.

United will learn their opponents in this month’s two-leg Champions League play-off when the draw is made tomorrow morning.

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