Since winning the title in 2013, everyone knew Manchester United needed an addition or two to their midfield. The likes of Paul Scholes and Micheal Carrick leaving left a big hole in their central midfield are. In 2014 Manchester United signed a Spanish midfielder from Atletic Bilbao and five years later he has become a fan favourite.
Ander Herrera made his mark at Old Trafford when he faced United in 2012. Even Sir Alex Ferguson admitted to wanting to buy him. However, it was Louis van Gaal who ended up bringing him to Manchester. His dedication in playing for the Red Devils was noticeable from the start. He paid his own buy-out clause in order to join United. While being a fan favourite is impressive, Herrera has everything in the making of a club legend.
Acting Like a Leader
After witnessing their team beat Chelsea in the FA Cup, fans spotted and adored what Herrera did after the game. Hugging and speaking highly of Sanchez, showed how Herrera can or should be United’s captain. His post-match interview conveys his clear passion and loyalty to the club.
Whilst encouraging others, he’s also a stickler for his own personal performance. No one can question Herrera’s tactical discipline. In 2017, he refused to give Eden Hazard any free space, a man-marking job that wasn’t a one off since he was able to replicate his performance last Monday. The Spaniard has shown several times at Manchester United that he can be a key player when called upon and can follow the manager’s orders down to the last detail.
Dominating The Midfield
As well as following instructions, Herrera is also very versatile. The big reason he can track someone for 90 minutes is that he isn’t unfamiliar to different positions. Having the ability to play as a defensive and attacking midfielder means he can take on different roles throughout a game.
Legends like Roy Keane and Paul Scholes were idolised for their ability to take games by the scruff of the neck. Ander Herrera is slowly starting to fulfill that role. While Paul Pogba earns the plaudits for leading United’s attacks, it’s Herrera who gels together the team’s defence and attack. He also tracks back to help Nemanja Matic and the defence out. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield trio are pivotal to his early success but without Herrera, there’s no one to fuse the midfield and attack. This was shown when United drew 2-2 against Burnley, a game where Herrera remained on the bench.
At the age of 29, Ander Herrera could and should end his career at Manchester United. Taking in all his positive qualities on and off the pitch its no doubt he will be remembered as a United legend and loyal servant to the club.
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