Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Herrera to United - Summer Signing Review #4:

Done deal: Herrera was unveiled as a United signing last week, will he fit in?
Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post. 

Today, I will be reviewing the summer signing of Spanish creative midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao - who has been unveiled as Manchester United's first of two summer signings so far (alongside Southampton youngster Luke Shaw).

United have been under an increasing amount of pressure to sign world-class players to bolster their squad, after underperforming last season and recording one of their worst finishes in a campaign since the Premier League began, with the resignation of managerial legend Sir Alex Ferguson - the transition period has not been good as of yet. 

BUT, with new Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, there is potential for the club to go forward and stabilize under a manager who has been proved in many of the top European leagues, but is yet to try his hand at English football. What an opportunity, eh? 

van Gaal is set to join United after the end of the World Cup - where he is managing Holland

Anyways, back to signing Herrera. The 24-year-old midfield talent was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United for the past two seasons, but Bilbao have stuck firm and done well to keep hold of their midfield gem. 

With the departures of striker Fernando Llorente to Juventus and defensive-midfielder Javi Martinez to Bayern in the last two years, Bilbao have been exposed as a club with good players, and United have been eager to try and test the resolve of the Spanish club. 

Negotiations were confirmed to have started over Herrera at the end of the season after rumours over Toni Kroos were quashed, reports suggest that the United target has agreed a deal to join Real Madrid after he finishes international duty with Germany.

Bilbao initially rejected the £29million pound bid for Herrera, with a week to go before the transfer window had officially opened. 

His release clause was set to increase by £10million if the deal had not been concluded before the 1st of July, and luckily for United - Herrera had already flown into Manchester for a medical and personal terms were agreed swiftly. 

Bilbao rejected any advances on their midfielder, meaning that Herrera had to buy out his own contract in order to sign before his clause increased, which would have meant that United would have had to overpay for him.

And now he is a Manchester United player.

Here are a list of his strengths and weaknesses -
  • A very good passer of the ball
  • Has quick feet and is not exactly slow, his acceleration helps him to get past markers
  • He does not score many goals, but creates more chances and assists instead
  • Attacking flair and dribbling ability on-goal are both superb
  • Likes to tackle, wins possession in midfield and his defensive contribution to the team is very good
  • However, he can also pick up yellow cards based on his tackling ability
  • He gets fouled often based on his size and strength
  • He has adapted to play at CDM/CM/CAM in midfield, which will give United a lot of midfield options to use him
Herrera has the potential to be a very good player for Manchester United - he is a midfielder who has rubber stamped his mark in Liga BBVA and will not be afraid to tackle opposite players despite the sheer physicality of the Premier League.

United have needed a midfielder who can adapt into any central position since they lost legendary player Paul Scholes a few years ago, and I cannot compare Herrera to Scholes but I can say that he does fit the bill for someone who can play in CDM/CM or even CAM, which will be a huge sigh of relief for a team that struggled to fit their midfield players in last season.

With the likes of Kagawa, Mata and Rooney ahead of him, Herrera could really flourish in England - not proven yet but there is real potential for him to shine, no real pressure or expectation placed on his head.

This next photo says it all, enjoy.

Good luck at United, Ander.