"A very special player"

Berlin (dpa) - Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Bastian Schweinsteiger can still be a key player for the club despite coach Jose Mourinho's reluctance to play him.

The former Germany captain was frozen out when Mourinho took over at Old Trafford in the close season but instead of looking for a move, the 32-year-old knuckled down in training and waited for his chance.

"He can still control a game if he is allowed to and I hope the manager will let him," 42-year-old Scholes told Germany's Kicker magazine on Thursday.

"The fans love Bastian, he's a very special player."

Schweinsteiger has now impressed Mourinho enough to receive a few cup outings and be included in the Europa League knockout rounds squad.

"I found it remarkable how highly professional Bastian reacted to it all by simply working hard and not complaining," Scholes added.

United host St-Etienne in a Europa League last 32 first leg later on Thursday.