The German international is back training for Manchester United.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho sprung something of a surprise on Monday when he brought Bastian Schweinsteiger in from the cold to train with the first-team ahead of their match against Fenerbahce.
United fans were quick to remind those getting overexcited that the German international is not registered to play in the Europa League. However he is part of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad, so could we see a dramatic U-turn?
Here we consider three possible reasons for Schweinsteiger’s return:
To attract January suitors
Schweinsteiger has a contract at Old Trafford until the summer of 2018, so there is no guarantee he will move on even if Mourinho wants him to.
An out-of-shape player is the last thing clubs want in a new signing – especially midway through a campaign – so Mourinho may be bringing Schweinsteiger back into the fold simply to build up his fitness ahead of a winter exit.
Ander Herrera has been superb for United this season but his dismissal against Burnley means he now faces a one-match suspension.
Mourinho may feel that Schweinsteiger is worthy of a place on the bench in the Spaniard’s absence with either Marouane Fellaini or Morgan Schneiderlin stepping in from the start.
Lack of faith in alternatives
Could Mourinho even do the unthinkable and start Schweinsteiger against the Swans? The German certainly knows the Premier League well and with the United boss seemingly unimpressed with Schneiderlin it could be the former Bayern Munich man who steps in.
It is a bold claim, but Herrera’s absence means something has to change next weekend and Mourinho may see Schweinsteiger’s leadership qualities as more important than whatever it is Fellaini offers…especially with his side struggling for wins.