Opinion

Ander Herrera | Was letting him go our biggest mistake ?

Ander Herrera, 31, was an excellent player for United. He made over 180 appearances for the reds over the span of five years, joining in the summer of 2014. Louis Van Gaal signed the Spaniard from Athletic Bilbao for £29 million, after Herrera activated a clause in his contract to force the Spanish club to accept Van Gaal’s bid. Herrera’s decision to force a move to United shows his passion for the club and this was replicated throughout his whole career here.

Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true!

Ander Herrera

There aren’t many players, in recent history, who can say that they played 110% every game for United. But Ander Herrera certainly can. His loyalty to the badge was undoubtable. This helped Herrera win the coveted 2017 Matt Busby Player of the year award for United, beating the likes of a prime David De Gea and a deadly Zlatan Ibramhimovic. Yet, the tenacious midfielder was let go just two years after.

Ander Herrera celebrating after scoring (Sports Mole).

Herrera was unfortunately released from the Old Trafford after a long dispute over his contract between him and the board. This was due to the board’s lack of communication towards the player regarding his importance to the club, even though he was pivotal at the time. In fact, one of Herrera’s biggest fans was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – the manager at the time when he left. However, Solskjaer may not have had much impact on the contract talks due to the fact he was ‘caretaker manager’ and he would not have had the trust from the board that he has now.

Solskjaer providing wise words to Herrera (Planet Football).

While playing under Solskjaer, Herrera played some of his best football and became the first name on the team sheet for each game. In fact, after Ole’s arrival, United averaged 2.2 goals per game with Ander Herrera playing – and they averaged just 1.6 goals per game without him. This shows the impact that he had on the whole team, as he made everyone around him better. This is especially true with regards to Paul Pogba. Seven out of ten of Paul Pogba’s goals were scored when Herrera was on the pitch.

Herrera after a tactical masterclass against Hazard (Football365).

Solskjaer was completely convinced in Herrera’s ability to fit into his system, as he was not only competent at attacking, but with defending also. While under the tutelage of Solskjaer, United conceded an average of 1.88 goals without Herrera on the pitch, and conceded just 0.44 goals per game when he played.

My intention was not to leave.

Ander Herrera

It seems that it was almost idiotic to let Herrera leave. He was a top player at the club, and to let a player of that calibre, with so much passion join another club was devastating. I personally believe that there is an Ander Herrera shaped hole at United. Possibly, it looks like it won’t be filled any time soon.

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