2018-19 Season Ending Player Review: Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera has left the club. After five years spent at Manchester United, the Spanish midfielder will no longer wear the famous red jersey, as his contract with the club has expired. Herrera decided to let the contract run out and sign a deal with Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, making his salary and signing-on bonus much larger than he could have got at Old Trafford.

In a way this was expected. Herrera will be 30 in about a month and this was his final opportunity for the biggest contract of his career. As we have seen with players like Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey, it makes sense for footballers looking for new challenges to wait for their contract to end and then cherry pick their next destination, with a much bigger salary as a big plus in that decision making. Herrera gave his all to Manchester United in the previous five years and this was his chance for something new.

The fact that not many Man United fans hold it against him for leaving the club in this situation tells a story of how respected he was at Old Trafford. He was giving his all in every game, as it was also the case during his lasts season at the club. Herrera did ask for a much improved contract – at least according to some sources – where he would have been paid on par with Sanchez. And that too made sense – he had all the leverage, with PSG knocking on his door with a big envelope.

It was ultimately Man United that have let this happen, after failing to renew his contract earlier and that was that.

Appearances across all competitions

Herrera made 28 appearances for Man United in the last season. He played 22 times in the Premier League, starting 16 of them. He played three times in FA Cup, twice in Champions League and once in League Cup. With just 1887 minutes throughout the season, he was not close to being the most used player in the squad, but at the time of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival, he became much more important for the way United played.

Funnily enough, Herrera scored twice in Premier League and also added three assists, but all of these goal contributions came in December 2018.

Did he perform above or below the expectations?

Herrera played a little bit above expectations, mostly because of his run of games after Solskjaer’s arrival, that was at a very high level. When he was playing in a double pivot in central midfield, Herrera was able to bring energy and work rate to a team that was continuously missing it. However, as the season was getting closer to an end, he was deteriorating as much as his teammates, especially with his situation with the contract and possible PSG move.

Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?

No, Ander Herrera will not be part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season. Herrera joined PSG, while Man United will now need to find new solutions in central midfield.

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