Looking at ex United ace Ander Herrera's slow start at PSG

Manchester United have passed the captain’s armband around the team since the departure of Antonio Valencia on a free transfer last summer.

Ander Herrera would have been the stand-out candidate to take it on but United were unable to convince him to stay and he joined Paris Saint-Germain.

He now plays for a team capable of wiping the floor with Real Madrid without their three best attackers, but is yet to make a league start.

Why should he have been made captain?

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

There are many reasons which would have made Herrera the stand-out candidate to wear the armband.


Through United’s recent period of mediocrity, Herrera was one of the few players who non-negotiably gave his best every time he stepped on the pitch.

He was never the most creative player but added energy and tempo to a side that lacked it far too often, which meant there was always a spot for him in the side.

This United side is all about pride in the shirt, constant running and a never-say-die attitude and nobody would have embodied those qualities better than Herrera, who would have been an old head among the youth.

How’s he getting on at PSG?


Herrera went to Paris with a calf injury (according to Transfermarkt), which has limited his Ligue 1 involvement to 19 minutes against Strasbourg.

He was also on the bench for PSG’s demolition job on Real Madrid last night, behind Idrissa Gueye, who joined from Everton during the summer.

Is that a sign of the pecking order at PSG? It remains to be seen but it is tough to see how Herrera is going to become a key player among a squad which contains Gueye, Marco Verratti and Marquinhos all in that engine room.

Compare that to being club captain of United during an exciting new era at a time when our midfield options are so bare that he’d be an automatic pick every week.

It’s a crying shame that United couldn’t convince him to stay – it takes some level of boardroom incompetence to make a player as loyal as Herrera turn his back – but was it even a good move for his career?

Time will tell, he might win a few medals, while just being a bit part player.

Instead he could have been an ideal skipper for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season in charge. His departure is an opportunity which Scott McTominay might end up seizing.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.