Germany coach Joachim Low has insisted that he will continue to use Manchester United’s Bastian Schweinsteiger from the substitute’s bench despite his goal against Ukraine last time out.
Schweinsteiger took just minutes to score on his comeback from injury after coming on as a late substitute in the 2-0 win over Ukraine last week. The fixture, Germany’s opening match of Euro 2016, was the 31-year-old’s first competitive appearance since March.
Despite the impressive cameo, Low claimed that Schweinsteiger is not yet ready to start in Germany’s upcoming match against Poland.
“He does not have the strength to play 90 minutes, but his role off the pitch has become more and more important in recent years, too,” Low said.
“He is a leader, both on and off the pitch, very experienced — he has won everything at club level and is also a world champion.
“Bastian is an important go-to guy for me because he thinks a lot about football. He has a great influence on our team.”
Bayern Munich and Germany keeper Manuel Neuer also gave his thoughts on Schweinsteiger, insisting that he is still a crucial player for the side.
“Schweinsteiger is our best player in the position in front of the two centre-backs. It was important that he was subbed on against Ukraine, even though it was only for a few minutes,” Neuer said.
“Basti knows where he has to stand in the deciding moments. He keeps the system, talks a lot on the pitch and gives us a good feeling during the match.”
Schweinsteiger remains a world-class player on his day but question marks over his fitness has meant his progress for club and country has stalled somewhat.
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But his goal against Ukraine, such a swift impact following his return, should fill him with confidence as Germany look to advance in the competition.
Jose Mourinho will be keeping a keen eye on the veteran as he finalises his options ahead of the coming Premier League season.