Martin Keown on the only problem that faces Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger made his Manchester United debut as a second half substitute during last weekend's win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown thinks that Bastian Schweinsteiger will be a big player for Manchester United this evening, but appears concerned over whether the German midfielder can stay fit or not. 

Schweinsteiger came on as a second half substitute during the opening day win over Tottenham at Old Trafford last weekend. 

Keown said the former Bayern Munich star is not a squad player and that the only time he will not be starting games for Louis van Gaal's side is when he's not fit.

In his 'Tackle Keown' column for the Daily Mail, the former player turned pundit said: "He’s a top, top player. He is a leader and a driving force and Van Gaal worked with him at Bayern. The problem is if he can stay fit. But he is not just a squad player.

"The only time he will be on the bench is if he’s not fit. He is a World Cup winner. He wins games

"United were very reliant on Michael Carrick in midfield last year but now they have far more options and Schweinsteiger will be a key player."

The signings that United have made this summer, including Schweinsteiger, have bulked up their midfield options with the German adding tremendous pedigree to the side following his success both at club and international level. 

His experience is also likely to stand them in good stead for when they return to Champions League action - with the first leg of their qualifier against Brugge at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. 

Keown does allude to the absence of Carrick at times last season, and it was clear United struggled on those occasions, so Schweinsteiger along with Morgan Schneiderlin will relieve the burden on Carrick. 

But even if there are doubts over his fitness, the signing of Schneiderlin has made United's midfield a much more formidable looking opposition this season.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch