Morgan Schneiderlin is officially on his way to Everton. Everton announced the move on Thursday, and at long last, the back-and-forth saga between the Toffees and Manchester United has been resolved. The Frenchman says he's "ready to eat football again!" which surely can only be a good thing.
Schneiderlin's transfer completes the rare hat trick of being a net positive transfer for all parties involved. The Frenchman goes somewhere he's wanted, Everton get a game-changing midfielder and United offload an excess part for a tidy sum. It's a win-win-win, and here's why.
Why it's good for Schneiderlin
First and foremost, the midfielder will get games. Since Mourinho took over at Manchester United, playing time had been scarce for the 27-year-old midfielder. Relegated to spot starts in cup matches or cameo appearances off the bench this season, Schneiderlin should slide right into Everton's midfield.
To say he'd been frozen out at United would be an understatement. He's been fit for the most part, so it just came down to Mourinho not rating him, really. Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick all fell in the pecking order ahead of Schneiderlin. Even Marouane Fellaini and surprise outcast-turned-option Bastian Schweinsteiger were getting matches. Schneiderlin needed to leave, period. Winding up at Everton, where he'll reunite with Ronaldo Koeman, lines up perfectly.
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Why it's good for Everton
It's painfully clear that Everton need Schneiderlin as much as he needs them. The midfield is, to put it plainly, old. Schneiderlin is no youngster, but when you're running 35-year-old Gareth Barry out there day-in and day-out, something has to give. At an initial fee of £20 million, Schneiderlin isn't cheap but far from a bank-breaker. The fee can jump up to £24 million, but that's still not enough to cripple the Toffees. Consider that he has the bonus of a "homegrown" designation, and it's a fair price to pay.
One of Everton's biggest problems so far this season has been an inability to seize control in the midfield. With no glaring weaknesses, Schneiderlin can move up and down the pitch ... which is already more than can be said for many of Everton's other options, save for Idrissa Gueye. With United, Schneiderlin never found the form he had in Southampton, but it's not a huge gamble for Everton. He also enjoyed the best season of his career under Koeman, who is sure to get the best from him.
Why it's good for Manchester United
OK, so it's never good to see a once-promising purchase fizzle out and fail to make an impact. But that happens to every club from time to time, and even the great Manchester United aren't immune to it. Where United benefit here is that they've sold off an ancillary player that failed to make an impression, recouping a large portion of the fee they paid. Most reports indicate United paid £24 million in 2015, and they're receiving at least £20 million now. Better yet, they could wind up getting a total of £24 million down the road.
For United, that represents a nice chunk of change. Not that the Red Devils are hard up for cash, but £20 million is £20 million. United took a player that wasn't contributing and can now reinvest that into a squad looking to make the Champions League and possibly more. That amount of cash could get the Red Devils a serviceable backup striker to Zlatan Ibrahimovic or could subsidize a move for a top-line defender. United could also pocket the cash to spend in the summer, should they so choose. Either way, they took a non-essential player and turned him into a decent asset.