Everyone expected Morgan Schneiderlin to leave Southampton this summer, with the possible chance of following his old manager Mauricio Pochettino to White Hart Lane. However, the 24-year-old decided to stay and he has shaken off his disruptive start, helping the Saints to an impressive third place after seven games.
The excellent performances from Schneiderlin has led to his continued inclusion in the French national team, and against Armenia on Tuesday, he could be given his chance to impress Didier Deschamps from the start. One of the reasons that Schneiderlin should be given a chance is due to the poor form of former Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Sometimes the career of the player doesn’t take the predicted path, it can be a positive move, but it can also be detrimental. Schneiderlin’s has been on a steady upward curve since he joined Southampton from Strasbourg in 2008. Cabaye’s career path is on a downward curve at the moment, and the player is currently in the midst of a poor patch.
It started to go downhill after his €25 million move from Newcastle last January. The French midfield joined a club that already has an established starting lineup. He has struggled to break through, and now it is affecting his France form.
The time has come for Didier Deschamps to try the France midfield without Cabaye. There is the option of playing with power and a physical presence with Moussa Sissoko, but there is also Schneiderlin. The 24-year-old brings defensive stability, a quality which he has shown in the Premier League, but also can push forward and add a creative edge.
Deschamps could play the normal 4-3-3 with Schneiderlin taking Cabaye’s place in the trio beside Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba. Schneiderlin can play as the deepest midfielder, dictate play and perhaps show the passion that Cabaye once had back when he was at Lille and Newcastle.
There is also the option of playing 4-2-3-1 with Schneiderlin and Matuidi holding the midfield and giving Pogba more licence to move forward and influence the game.
If Deschamps wants to utilise the squad he picked for the two friendlies, Schneiderlin is one option that makes the most sense.