Rumours have started to circulate that Ander Herrera has caught the attention of PSG and the French club are looking to sign him this summer.
This can’t happen.
For one, it would break the hearts of the J Stand, our singing section, who have developed a love affair with the Spaniard.
But, maybe more importantly than that, United can’t afford to lose a decent player in a position where we are lacking. He’s had a mixed time at the club, proving to be hugely important for a time during Louis van Gaal, before losing his way, and reemerging as someone deserving of our admiration again this season.
With football fans, the sentimental ones at least, Herrera offers us more than what he just does on the pitch though. It’s a cliche, a one that more cynical supporters may scoff at, but he gets it. He loves football and he loves playing football for United, and those qualities shouldn’t be ignored.
I feel very appreciated by the United fans and want to give the love back to the fans that they give to me by giving everything. I know what Manchester United means, I know what it means to the fans and I try to make them proud. I’ve loved all my time in Manchester.
A couple of weeks before being sacked, after we beat Southampton, Jose Mourinho sung the praises of Herrera. Our former manager didn’t dish out compliments easily and always demanded that his players worked hard for the team above all else, so it’s telling that Herrera impressed him.
We had that spirit, we had that mentality that brought our game to a good level, to a better level. You know there are special players with special characteristics. Just to give you a couple of examples, Herrera, Rashford, they are the kind of players that even if their game was not phenomenal, that intensity, that desire, that passion, that sacrifice is always present.
The Spaniard has put in poor performances for United over the years, as any player has, but it’s never through a lack of effort. He is never one of the players whose head drops. Whether he’s on the pitch or cheering on the team from the bench, he gives everything to help United win.
Even for a player whose job isn’t primarily to score goals, he’s still managed to find the back of the net against Liverpool, both Arsenal and Chelsea on a couple of occasions and the winner against Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final last season.
Last April, we were 45 minutes away from one of the darkest days in the Premier League era, with City 2-0 up at half-time and ready to win the title after beating us. They had fireworks installed on the roof and ‘we did it on derby day’ t-shirts printed up.
But in the second half we didn’t just get the draw we required, we beat them, and stopped them from having the bragging rights over us. Herrera spoke like one of the fans after the game.
This is one of the best, one of the most emotional games so far in my career with Manchester United. We didn’t talk too much about tactics at half-time. We just talked about our pride, about the club, and how you can never underestimate United.
We knew that our fans were going to have a difficult night if we lost. So we did it for them and of course for us and our position, but overall for them. It was an important game for our fans. I was feeling sorry for them because it was going to be a difficult day for all of them. But this is Manchester United and nobody should ever underestimate it.
Still, for those who aren’t swayed by the emotion, practically, we simply can’t afford to let a midfielder leave the club when that’s an area we need to strengthen. Nemanja Matic turns 31 at the start of next season, and while Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira have shown up for the team during this injury crisis, they’re a long way from proving they deserve a regular spot in starting XI.
Herrera would leave on a free if the club don’t successfully negotiate an extension with him, which would be criminal.
When United made the decision to pay Alexis Sanchez a fortune, they took the gamble of knowing other players would demand more money too. The fact that Sanchez has largely been disappointing only boosts the claims of other players that they deserve a better salary.
United have been in talks with Herrera for months yet have failed to agree terms yet. But sooner or later, they’ll have to bite the bullet, because the Spaniard will be offered a great deal elsewhere, given another club won’t have to pay a transfer fee for him.
Thankfully, reports suggest he wants to stay put, and will snub any advances from PSG, as long as United pay him what he feels he deserves. So, what are they waiting for?
The time he got Steven Gerrard sent off at Anfield… pic.twitter.com/EGtyVeIE7O
— Jay (@RFFH) January 22, 2019
Finally, if none of these arguments have convinced you, in Herrera we have arguably the biggest shithouse in the league. The player that other fans hate. How can you not love a player who so effortlessly leaves rival supporters foaming at the mouth?
To finish, I’ll leave you with Herrera’s feelings on the club.
I know I am not English and I am not from Manchester, but I really love this club.
We love you too, Ander.