Age: 24 (14 August 1989)
Club: Athletic Bilbao
Interested Clubs: Manchester United
Ander Herrera was embroiled in a dramatic and ultimately futile transfer wrangle between his own club and English champions Manchester United on deadline day in August. The midfielder has a release clause of €36m, which Bilbao maintained must be met if Herrera was to move to the Premier League. Despite the rumours of dodgy lawyers and paperwork incompetency, it later emerged that United believed that the release clause far over-valued Herrera and that they were never prepared to activate it. Instead they offered somewhere in the region of €28m and with little time for further negotiation, the deal collapsed. United are tipped to re-ignite their interest in Herrera in January, so what kind of player are they attempting to sign?
Match Reports – Last Three Appearances
26th September 2013
Home vs. Real Betis
Herrera started this game as the most attacking midfielder of a central three, tasked with providing the creativity and guile from that area. He managed to touch the ball 60 times, with a passing accuracy of 79%. Athletic’s two other central midfielders that day, Mikel Rico and Benat completed 82% and 88% of their passes respectively and, although those figures are better than Herrera’s, it must be noted that they both operated as holding midfielders and were under instruction to keep their passes simple.
Herrera’s slightly lower passing accuracy figures were a result of his attempts to complete more difficult and incisive forward passes. In fact, Herrera made full use of his creative skill set and made 3 key passes against Betis while unsuccessfully attempting 3 through balls, as well as having 3 shots on goal, one of which was on target.
With Betis still leading the game 1-0 on 70 minutes, Herrera was substituted. His replacement Oscar De Marcos scored within 3 minutes of replacing Herrera and Athletic eventually went on to complete the comeback on 82 minutes with a goal from Mikel San Jose.