Moyes given transfer boost as Herrera’s stop-start season continues at Athletic Bilbao

by Sam Peoples

Ander Herrera has endured a tough time at Athletic Bilbao since his failed move to Manchester United this summer but he made his return to their starting line-up against Getafe this week.

The 24-year-old has been kept out of the team as Bilbao brought in new central midfielders and has only completed the full 90 minutes on one occasion in La Liga so far this year.

He made a decent recent to the team but late on, Herrera was booked for diving after trying to win a penalty against Getafe. To his credit, he admitted to the incident after the full time whistle and saved faced in that respect.

“I apologise to the referee because then we complain about them and me today, honestly, I have tried to cheat,” he said after the match.”

The Peoples Person asked Jonas Giaever to give us an informed opinion on how Herrera got on in his return to the starting line-up for Bilbao and while he was impressed by his quick style of play, Jonas questioned whether his style of play suits this new look Bilbao side.

Ander Herrera had a lively 88 minutes in Athletic Bilbao’s 1-0-win away to Getafe.

He featured through the middle in the first half just ahead of Mikel Rico and Ander Iturraspe and carried the ball forward on several occasions. Despite inviting team mates for quick one-twos and instigating quick passing combinations, he seemed to play at a higher speed than the rest of his team.

This meant that he often moved the ball too quick and was overly ambitious with his passes which was reflected in his pass completion of 41/56 (78%).

Athletic are no longer the high intensity, fast paced team that took Old Trafford by storm yet Ander seems to still embody a lot of style implemented by Marcelo Bielsa over the course of the last two seasons.

Ander is still a bit lightweight and was brushed off the ball too easily on a few occasions. However, he’s not afraid of a tackle and challenged physically stronger players as he was moved a little bit deeper for the second half in order to be able to control play.

Out of seven attempted tackles, he completed six. He also contributed defensively with two interceptions in an all-round performance.

His horrid dive and was promptly booked by the referee but he saved some face by admitting to it on Spanish television post-match and apologised to the referee in a sign of maturity from the 24-year old.”

There is no doubt that Herrera has suffered as a consequence of Bielsa’s departure as the new boss has adopted a style of play that clearly Herrera doesn’t enjoy as much.

In that respect, it gives United a boost if they were to renew their interest in the 24-year-old but would we be willing pay his release clause after a season of mediocrity if we weren’t willing to pay it before?

Do you think Manchester United should renew their pursuit of Ander Herrera?

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