How good is Manchester United’s €30m midfield man Ander Herrera

How good is Manchester United’s €30m midfield man Ander Herrera

Manchester United have had a €30 million bid rejected for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera as David Moyes makes another move to bring a Spanish midfielder to Old Trafford.

The 24-year-old played a central role in Bilbao's triumph over United in the Europa League two years ago but not too much is known about his style of play and whether he is good enough to strengthen United.

Here's a report looking at why Herrera is a 'better choice for United than Thiago'.

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Ander Herrera is a central midfielder, first and foremost. Anyone who has said he is not a central midfielder does not know what they are talking about.

For the past two seasons under Bielsa, he has been played as a deep playmaker. He is built almost in the same mould as Xavi because of his maturity in his role and ability to dictate play from deep.

He plays alongside Iturraspe and De Marcos. De Marcos is an energy player, a pure box-to-box midfielder. Iturraspe has the build of an anchor man but has the propensity to move forward, just like Herrera.

Herrera is the player that is given the job of maintaining Athletic Bilbao's high-tempo attacking style by playing long diagonals and quick one-twos on the ground. He has the ability to pick out a pass from deep and is phenomenal in terms of ball retention. He is the most underrated player in Athletic Bilbao's side and Spain's U21s.

For Manchester United, he is a better choice than Thiago in the central midfield role because unlike Herrera, Thiago simply does not have the discipline to maintain a rigid place in midfield while still maintaining an attacking threat.

For Manchester United, he is a better choice than Thiago in the central midfield role because unlike Herrera, Thiago simply does not have the discipline to maintain a rigid place in midfield while still maintaining an attacking threat.

Herrera is a much more refined central midfielder and he is extremely hard-working, which bodes well if he would play alongside Carrick because the 32-year-old is not the most mobile central midfielder out there. He has a fantastic attitude on the pitch, plays with a lot of passion and is aggressive defensively.

Herrera has a fantastic attitude on the pitch, plays with a lot of passion and is aggressive defensively.

What I like the most about Herrera is how unfazed he is under pressure. He is very disciplined in possession of the ball and the reason why he roams around the pitch was only due to Bielsa's style of football that was employed.

Herrera is the best midfielder in Athletic Bilbao's midfield three and his creativity on the ball would make him a very good asset to United. If I were to make a quick comparison, he would be a little bit worse than Éver Banega on the ball but much more disciplined and stronger defensively.

The fact that he plays in a three man midfield is no way to assume that he would struggle in the Premier League. The reason behind that is because many teams in La Liga actually press through the centre, which is almost unheard of in the Premier League and if afforded the space, Herrera would thrive in the middle of midfield.

By Jay Swaggum

Image: UEFA