Three reasons why Ander Herrera would be good Man United signing

Three reasons why Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera would be a good signing for Manchester United

New Man United manager Louis van Gaal Photo: IMG Nederland

Added creativity will help Rooney and RVP

Manchester United endured a torrid season last year, with the strikers heavily reliant on aerial bombardment from the wings. Playing in the middle, Ander Herrera will offer service to the two forwards and chip in with a few goals, like he did last season in helping Athletic Bilbao qualify for the Champions League. Five goals and five assists from a deeper position helped Bilbao qualify for the first time in their history, and he is very much able to play in the system United will adopt under Louis van Gaal. Herrera played behind an attacking trio and will surely do the same at United, feeding the forwards and wingers. His partnership with Ander Iturraspe was also key in Bilbao’s fourth-placed finish, and the little and large duo could be replicated with Marouane Fellaini dropping a little deeper into the midfield, also taking the pressure off of the Belgian. Capable in possession, Herrera is like a young Michael Carrick and exactly the sort of player United have needed for the last few years.

Scholes void had never been properly replaced

United missed Paul Scholes so much that he was asked to come back from retirement due to an injury crisis in 2012, but almost became one of the club’s more influential players upon his return. His second stint at Old Trafford lasted 18 months where he played 42 times and scored five goals. Since then United have yet to find a player both adept at tackling, scoring and running across the pitch for 90 minutes. Herrera could be the man to fill that hole in the United midfield. The pair share similar traits as Herrera’s goals and assists for Bilbao last year prove. Herrera also likes a tackle and has a pretty poor disciplinary record for a 24-year-old, but nonetheless proves his commitment and tenacity which fans saw in Scholes. Tom Cleverley has tried to play in that style and position but has very rarely shone in his career at Old Trafford, and by buying Herrera, United can finally expect a performance from someone who is able to perform in a way that made the club a huge success in previous years.

International ambition will keep midfielder motivated

Spain’s demise at this year’s World Cup may have come at the perfect time for Herrera. The centre of the Spanish midfield looks set to be given a massive revamp with Xavi and Xabi Alonso likely to be shifted in favour of more youth. Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas look like early contenders to rule the Spanish midfield of the future, but the new system remains unknown. This means that Herrera, now likely to be playing on a bigger pedestal than at Bilbao (even if he misses out on the Champions League this season), will be vying to make the full squad after many years in the Spanish youth system. He joins a burgeoning Spanish youth alumni at Old Trafford alongside David De Gea and Juan Mata, all of whom can see their international futures beginning to take shape, and Herrera will yearn for similar status. If he can handle the pressure in his early United career, there can be little doubt that he will earn his chance to represent the full Spanish squad, a reward which will be beneficial for himself and the Red Devils.

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