Things could have been so different if Manchester United had kept Ander Herrera

Manchester United’s midfield issues have generated much debate this season. But things could have been so different if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had arrived sooner.

As reported by ESPN, the United boss was desperate to keep Ander Herrera and the Spaniard wanted to stay.

However, issues with the United board meant Herrera had already decided to join PSG as a free agent. And the rest is history.

Had the 32-year-old stuck around, United fans may not be calling for a new addition quite so vociferously. He is exactly what the club need right now – tenacious, experienced and reliable.

Nemanja Matic is faltering and Fred is not up to the challenge. Scott McTominay is United through and through. But, despite suggestions he is working with Michael Carrick to develop his game, his best work is done further forward.


Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Herrera was a fan favourite at United. He was not always a starter but he saw four managers come and go at Old Trafford.

In short, despite changes in the hot seat and in the squad, Herrera was trusted to remain and do a solid job.

He did that across 189 appearances for United, scoring 20 goals and providing 27 assists in the process. Able to play either as a deep-lying midfielder or further forward, Herrera would have started more often than not under Solskjaer.

Herrera shining in France

Herrera could have been the necessary shield in front of United’s back line.

Instead he has featured regularly in France this season. In fact, the only time PSG lost, Herrera was left on the bench until the 76th minute.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing in football. But this is one that really shouldn’t have played out as it did.

Herrera deserved better from the United board. He warranted a good contract and, had he signed, Solskjaer would have had a very good option in the centre of the park.

He may not be world-class, but he is everything United need. Solskjaer, United fans and, perhaps, Herrera himself, are left wondering what might have been.

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Vincent is the Senior Managing Editor of Freshered. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years.