Manchester United could be set for an emotional reunion with cult hero Ander Herrera today, with the Spaniard in contention to feature for Athletic Bilbao.
Herrera was a warrior on the pitch. He wore his heart on his sleeve and gave his all for the club, which led to him becoming a firm fan favourite, and even becoming a bit of a ‘cult hero’ around Old Trafford – as dubbed by the Daily Star.
This is why back in 2019 when the Spaniard left for Paris Saint Germain, fans and Herrera alike were simply gutted to see the club part ways with him. Now, he could be facing the United side for the first time again since a Champions League clash in 2020.
Herrera could be facing Manchester United for Bilbao
Manchester United play their last friendly game before the new season today, as they travel to Dublin to face Athletic Bilbao.
Herrera could definitely feature, with the 33-year-old joining Bilbao on a permanent deal back in January 2023 after a successful loan spell.
Herrera began his career at the Bask club and has now returned in the latter stages of his career after his time in France.
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He has fond memories at Bilbao, including a memorable night at Old Trafford back in March 2012 where a young Ander defeated United 3-2 in the Europa League.
This was arguably the game that persuaded United to sign the Spaniard, or at least keep tabs on him. They pulled the trigger just under two years later, and the rest is history.
Emotional return inbound
In a heartbreaking interview with Manchester United back in December 2022, Herrera broke down in tears as he recalled his Manchester United transfer exit.
Asked if he felt emotional when leaving Old Trafford for the final time, Herrera spoke about a picture he had taken with his daughter and breaks down in tears.
Ander then took a break from recording to regain his composure before finishing what is a powerful podcast that underlines his enduring connection to the club and fans.
This will be the first time since this interview that Herrera will come in contact with United again. Let’s hope the fans in Dublin give him a very warm welcome.