'Past his prime' - Ballack slams Schweinsteiger's Man Utd move

The former Chelsea midfielder has suggested the 32-year-old was wrong to head to Old Trafford and is not surprised he has struggled for game time

Germany legend Michael Ballack has criticised Bastian Schweinsteiger's move to Manchester United, insisting the midfielder was "past his prime" when he made the switch to England.

Schweinsteiger has struggled for game time under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, featuring on just four occasions in all competitions.

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Former United manager Louis van Gaal made the decision to sign the midfielder, despite a patchy injury record that saw him limited to 15 league starts in his final season at Bayern.

And Ballack believes that Schweinsteiger was never going to be the player he once was, suggesting that it was the wrong decision to join the Red Devils.

He said, as quoted by Bild: "When the transfer [to Manchester United] happened, he was already past his prime, due to injuries.

"I am not that surprised by this development [Schweinsteiger struggling for game time]. The Premier League is a different kind of league, in terms of physical play.

"He has had a difficult time with the manager but the fans and the club love him. I hope that he will be able to close this chapter feeling satisfied."

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Initially ignored by Mourinho, Schweinsteiger was eventually brought back into the first-team fold, with his last appearance coming in February, as a second-half substitute against Saint-Etienne.

He could well be involved in his side's Europa League last-16 clash with FC Rostov, with United having been held to a 1-1 draw in the away leg in Russia.

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