Ander Herrera heads to Manchester United to fill a gaping midfield chasm 1



Most of the press is reporting this morning that Manchester United have matched Ander Herrera’s Athletic Bilbao buy-out clause and that the player will be arriving in England shortly for a medical and to discuss personal terms.

It’s good news for United - and actually for the league as a whole, because will be an asset to the competition.

There’s still some debate as to how Louis Van Gaal will set his new side out next season, but on the presumption that he maintains a ‘three’ in midfield, Herrera will provide an excellent solution to the problems that exist between the attacking and defensive parts of the team - for all intents and purposes, he is the player that Tom Cleverley has failed to turn into.

If you were generalising, you might describe Herrera as a ‘deep-lying playmaker’, but that’s quite a reductive description - he does more than just sit and distribute.  He’s a player who is excellent in both halves of the pitch, someone who’s very useful in transition, and who can provide an extremely useful level of attacking and defensive support as and when necessary.

Before this window opened, Cesc Fabregas - who was very obviously for sale - looked likely to move to Old Trafford.  Even though Fabregas moved to Chelsea, United more than likely passed on the option to sign him - and presumably because their primary target was always Herrera.  That makes sense, too; Herrera is a better defender than Fabregas and more positionally reliable when not in possession - he may not be quite the creative force that Fabregas is, but he’s probably a better-fit for a United side already loaded with flair and imagination (Mata, Kagawa, Rooney, Januzaj etc).

This is a nice move and it’s difficult to see how it could end up being anything other than a success.

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