It is official: Everton have signed France international Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United for an initial fee of £20 million. The former Southampton man performed admirably at St Mary’s Stadium during Ronald Koeman’s tenure on the south coast and the Dutchman will be expecting big things from the 27-year-old for the next four and a half seasons.
Schneiderlin made his debut as a substitute in Everton’s 4-0 thrashing of Manchester City at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon and the Toffees man will need some time to get used to his new surroundings. To be fair, he was neat and tidy in possession, completing 100% of his pass attempts according to WhoScored, and his energy and passion in midfield will be useful in the coming months; especially in difficult away fixtures.
A recent Voucherbox study has shown that Everton’s away fans spend £318 more than their home supporters on a yearly basis but nothing beats those long trips back to Merseyside with three points in the bag; the extra cost of following the Toffees away is well worth it. With favourable clashes against Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Middlesbrough approaching, there are certainly plenty of points to be won as Everton look to hold onto the seventh spot.
Morgan Schneiderlin is still a very good player. Perhaps he didn't show it a lot for Man Utd, but when playing for Everton, he'll return.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) January 12, 2017
Everton are seventh in the table at the time of writing and Toffees fans will be gearing up for a number of tricky road trips in the coming weeks. In fact, Koeman’s side are due to play four of their next six matches away from Goodison Park and supporters will be excited at the prospect of another session on the road.
The Frenchman is a fantastic signing and his familiarity with Koeman’s methods and training techniques should benefit Everton both in the short and long term. It would be unfair to take too much from his disappointing career at Old Trafford; at the end of the day it was a move that he had to make and we should base his potential and talent on his time at Southampton. If Koeman can get the most out of him once again, Everton will be in business.
Schneiderlin’s influence and presence in midfield during these away fixtures will help to keep Everton fans calm in tight contests. The former United man is neat and tidy in possession and he is brilliant at changing the point of attack. If nothing else, his skillset will compliment that of Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley in midfield and Schneiderlin is capable of slotting into any formation – the Frenchman’s versatility is perhaps his greatest trait of all.
If truth be told, Everton fans might not see the best of Schneiderlin until next season but it will be worth the wait. Koeman knows how to get the most out of his new central midfielder and the Toffees will feel the benefit from that mutual respect and understanding in the middle of the park. His risky move to Old Trafford backfired but that doesn’t mean that he is a sub-par footballer; only time will tell but this could be the beginning of a new era at Goodison Park and Schneiderlin can be Everton’s midfield maestro for the next four years.