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How Good Is: Manchester United Target Ander Herrera

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2013 by Matt Styrka

The press is hot with news that Manchester United are willing to meet the €31m release clause for 24 year old Bilbao Midfielder Ander Herrera, but is he the big name signing they've been promising?

Herrera: World Top 200 Midfielder
Herrera is widely regarded as an attacking midfielder of some promise but he possesses excellent defensive capabilities and would likely be considered as someone who will bolster United's options in central midfield along side Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverly.

Comparisons
Given his defensive talents it would be unfair to assess him based on his goal threat but he does stack up well against the likes of Carrick (368 minutes per goal contributed), and Cleverly (284 mins) when it comes to scoring an creating goals. Herrera offers plenty of defensive ability and could be a good fit for a United side looking for extra options if they can't land Fellaini.

Experience
Herrara has spent a his entire 6 seasons as a professional playing in the Spanish league for Zaragoza and Bilbao where he is regarded as an excellent young talent but doesn't always command a first team place. Both his 2 appearances so far this season have been on as a substitute. All in all 51 of his 145 appearances in La Liga have been on as a substitute though he has started ti complete 90 minutes more regularly over the past season as he beings to establish himself as a first team regular.

Herrara does have decent European level experience having appeared in 17 Europa League games, but he is yet to make a Champions League appearance so he is untested at the very highest level.

The Spaniard is yet to be capped at full international level despite having played at all U20, U21 and U23 levels for Spain.

Our Rating
The hype around Herrera is obviously being hugely inflated by transfer deadline day. Whilst he does possess the potential to be a top player in the mould of Tom Cleverly and does offer more attacking potential than Michael Carrick, his lack of an international cap and any experience at Champions League level does raise a few question marks about his reported fee, in excess of €30m. For that kind of money United may well be better off focusing on Fellaini or other more experienced and established options.

Even though there is no doubting the potential of Herrera and the fact that he could be well worth his money in 2 or 3 years time, he does represent a bigger risk than some other options available at that price today.


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