Former Manchester United defender David May believes Ander Herrera has the credentials to captain the club next season.
The Spaniard won the club’s ‘Player of the Year’ award last year but has struggled for a regular role under Jose Mourinho this season.
But his midfield performance against Tottenham Hotspur, during which he scored the winning goal, was a reminder of just how crucial he is when a big occasion comes around.
And May, speaking on MUTV, has opined that Herrera has better credentials than Antonio Valencia for the captaincy next season.
“I look at him as a leader on the pitch that other people can get inspiration from and rub off,” he said.
“Ander is a type of player who will run around and do his job and go and score a goal as well. He doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves.”
“This is no disrespect towards Antonio Valencia, but I don’t see Antonio as a leader on the pitch as Herrera is, Michael Carrick was and a Rio [Ferdinand] or a [Nemanja] Vidic. Ander is a type of player who will run around and do his job and go and score a goal as well.
“He doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves. You look at all our great captains, they were all nasty. He speaks ever so well, he’s a leader.”
There are a lot of reasons to love Herrera.
The Spaniard has a certain edge to his game – a nasty, ruthlessly competitive streak – which plays such an important role in big encounters. He can be the ideal balance between Nemanja Matic‘s calming presence and Paul Pogba‘s innovation, bringing tenacity and energy to the midfield battle, rampaging after the ball in a series of search and destroy missions all afternoon.
He genuinely loves the club. And he will do anything to help his club win, infuriating opponents in the process. Garth Crooks called him the most irritating player in the Premier League recently, and you could hardly disagree.
Slowly but surely, amid a series of nasty tackles and storming interceptions and cheeky ploys to rattle the opposite number, he will get under your skin.
And following the magnitude of his performance over the weekend, the club should just worry about handing him a new deal in the summer. He is far too valuable – especially in these big encounters – to let go.