Jose Mourinho has discussed why he’s been so impressed Ander Herrera at Manchester United this season.
The Portuguese boss revealed Herrera went against his orders in the Europa League final, but it was for a great reason.
He was talking at a lecture at the University of Lisbon last week and one of the students present, Petter Skogsletten, claims Mourinho said Herrera was one of the smartest players he’s ever managed.
“Mourinho talked a lot about Herrera, saying he is one of the smartest players he has had during his career,” he said.
“Herrera took hold of the Mkhitaryan and sent him in front of the keeper, while Herrera would take the pitch outside the box. Mourinho said he was so frustrated that he said ‘What the hell is going on?’.
“It turned out Herrera had taken responsibility in the situation – Mkhitaryan had a yellow card. If Ajax suddenly counterattacked and Mkhitaryan had fouled the player, he would have been sent off.
“Mourinho said he is incredibly pleased to have such players who can handle situations on their own and adjust.”
For the final against Ajax Mourinho had Henrikh Mkhitaryan standing outside the box and breaking down counters, with Herrera inside the box.
However, Herrera switched roles with the Armenian, leaving Mourinho furious, and it was only after that the Portuguese boss realised the Spaniard had taken complete control of the situation.