Former Manchester United workhorse Ji-Sung Park has heaped praise on Ander Herrera following a fantastic season under Jose Mourinho.
The Spaniard, following two murky years under Louis van Gaal, discovered his calling under the Portuguese as the side’s midfield enforcer, making 50 appearances in total.
He was duly handed the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award last month and put in a Man of the Match performance during Man United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final.
And Park, speaking to the club’s official website, was quick to express his admiration for the indefatigable 27-year-old.
“I think he’s worked hard on the pitch,” Park said. “He’s very clever. He is a great midfielder and, actually, I played against him when he played for Athletic Club.”
“It’s really good for the team to have that kind of player and he is really appreciated by the fans for what he has done for the club. He is still improving, actually, and can be even stronger than last season.”
The tenacity and sheer guile on display last season was probably the most accurate homage to Park’s unyielding effervescence during his time time at Old Trafford.
Indeed, the similarities are hard to ignore: from a distance, you would see the pair as iron-lunged workhorses charged with the responsibility of tearing across the pitch and causing disruption wherever they could. And this, of course, is ostensibly true.
But there is a smarter, more schematic side to their approach: Park was the master of positioning himself perfectly and breaking up play, and Herrera, with every game that passes, is fast developing such an eye for systematic disruption in the middle as well.