To the tune of 4 million dollars, Bastian Schweinsteiger is on his way to Chicago and it’s a… good thing!?
At first glance one would be very excited about this transfer and maybe you are already online buying your jersey, I don’t blame you. The signing of this German superstar is big news for a club that has been in the cellar of Major League Soccer for the past few years. There is also no argument to the fact that Basti is a huge addition to any team on and off the field. He brings leadership, a winning attitude, and most importantly talent. So why are some fans confused and maybe even a little frustrated? To be honest, I’m a little frustrated. Well, obviously there are two sides to the argument.
Why is Bastian a bad signing?
At the age of 32, Bastian is actually a fairly young world superstar signing when you compare him to the likes of past and present players Frank Lampard(38), Steven Gerrard(36), Andrea Pirlo(37), Didier Drogba(39), and the reigning golden boot winner David Villa (35). Unfortunately Schweiny has had a rough couple of years and has formed some injury problems that has forced him to take the sideline too many times. Therefore question one you have to ask yourself; is this kind of money worth it for someone who could go be spending much of the season from the sideline? In addition, the high press game that Chicago is trying to transition to will not be supported by an aging midfielder with injury problems.
Honestly, you might say it is still worth it because if he doesn’t go down then he is going to be DOMINANT in MLS. This might be true and hopefully he does but he is past his prime and other world legends have had a varied level of success in the league. Look at how well David Villa, Kaka, and David Beckham did in the league. On the flip side you can look at names like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo who all never really made a name for themselves in their short lived “retirement careers” that Major League Soccer is trying to get away from.
All of this aside, it could still be a really fantastic signing if Schweiny shows up and means business. Unfortunately there is one last problem. He doesn’t fit in Chicagos lineup, it makes no sense. Before the signing, central midfield was probably Chicago’s best position besides the fact that we don’t have a playmaker. With two of the leagues best box to box players, Juninho and Dax McCarty, Chicago has that spot covered. Heck, there is even depth at that position with 2015 rookie of the year candidate Matt Polster being downgraded to the bench thanks to these two summer signings. What Chicago fans were hoping to see additions to is right back, goalie, and a creative playmaker. Bastian is none of these, he plays the same type of game that both McCarty and Juninho play. With three new players of this caliber you need to fit them all in somehow. This probably means a 4-3-3 with one of those three midfielders playing more up top then they are used to and the front three would probably include Accam, Nicolic, and de Leeuw. That is not a bad lineup by any terms but will the lines be able to connect with out a true creative midfielder?
Still on the Basti hype train? I REALLY don’t blame you. I am too… and here’s why.
Why is Bastian a great signing?
Because he is BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER!!!!!!
Seriously do I need to say anything else? Yes we should all be excited, the money is already spent so just enjoy! The man is a walking trophy case. Eight Bundesliga Championships, one World Cup, and a UEFA Champions League title to name a few. He brings a winning culture to a team and a fanbase that simply doesn’t remember what winning feels like.
These championships were also not a coincidence, Schweinsteiger was not only part of these winning teams, he was an important and instrumental piece of these them. Although he is past his prime, he does still have it in him. You know he has it in him!
I really don’t want to encourage buying players for this reason but yes, he is a name. Even your friend who only becomes a soccer fan for one month every four years knows who Bastian Schweinsteiger is and that will put butts in seats. As astronomically high as his scoring record is, Nemanja Nicolic doesn’t do that. I, just like most of the CF97 world, had never heard of King Nico, but Bastia we know.
Most importantly what do you think bringing in this world legend does for a locker room that hosts one of the youngest rosters in the league? All the kids on the team; Drew Conner, Jonothan Campbell, Joey Calistri, Daniel Johnson, Djordje Mihailovic, Matt Polster, etc. must be in absolute shock! This was the generation that grew up watching Bastian lead Bayern Munich and Germany to dominance. Now they are not only playing with him, but they are learning from him! This can’t be overstated, we are bringing in a talented guy who has always helped his teammates get better.
So yes, I am on the #CHIweinsteiger hype train!
-Deal is for 2017 with a mutual option for 2018. Deal kept simple so that it could be done now, 2018 and on is probable.
-John Goossens is put on the DL which opens the international spot for Basti.
-Daniel Johnson and Stefan Cleveland’s Louisville come up to play The Men in Red on the off week.
-In addition to the 4-3-3 listed above, the 3-5-2 could be an interesting option and one that Coach Paunovic tried a few times last season.
Kappelhof, Meira, Campbell
Accam, McCarty, Basti, Juninho, Alvarez
de Leeuw, Nicolic