Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera Needs More Playing Time Under Mourinho

He was so phenomenal last season, named Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for 2016. But a new season has brought new fortunes for Ander Herrera. The Spaniard now finds himself slipping into the fringes at Manchester United. Ander Herrera has done enough to get more playing time under Jose Mourinho.

One of the most decorated managers in European football is Jose Mourinho; that statement sounds cliché nowadays. The Portuguese tactician as we all know, has seen it all and won it all. Mourinho’s success story is one that could win an Oscar if scripted into a movie. But Jose’s immense accomplishments has left some casualties along the way.

From his time at Porto, then Chelsea and then to Real Madrid before returning back to England where he’s once again managed Chelsea and now Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has left a trail of casualties in his wake. These are the first team regulars who had been transformed into afterthoughts by the two-time Champions League winner. Names such as Gonzalo Higuain, Ricardo Kaka, Juan Mata, Victor Moses and Filipe Luis are few that come to mind.

Ander Herrera is the latest name to be added that list. Despite making half a century of appearances for Manchester United last season, the former Bilbao man can’t seem to get into Mou’s reckoning this term.

28-year-old Herrera joined Manchester United in the summer of 2014. A ferocious attacking midfield linchpin, big things were expected from the Spaniard and he largely did not disappoint. Herrera remained one of the key players at Old Trafford until the coming of the famed Special One.

Herrera who thrives in the number 10 role was soon converted to box-to-box defensive midfield henchman. Last season, Herrera made light work of his new role and even won himself plenty accolades for his performances. But it hasn’t stopped Mr Mourinho from looking for an upgrade for the Manchester United player of the season.

Welcome, Nemanja Matic! The Serb who was poached from Chelsea for £40 million is a natural defensive midfielder. His signing means one thing for Herrera – lesser playing time. This season, Herrera has only played five minutes of Manchester United’s first three games. He started the fourth, but we already know which players are Mourinho’s first choice in both defensive and attacking midfield.

Pushed down the pecking order, Ander Herrera now cuts a completely overlooked figure on the Manchester United bench.

What next for Ander Herrera?

Most players who had found themselves in a similar situation with Mourinho as the former Zaragoza man has had to make a decision – they’ve had to choose between leaving the club or fighting the lost cause for more playing time. Just like Herrera, Juan Mata had won the Chelsea player of the year before finding himself a regular bench warmer under Mourinho – he chose to leave.

Earlier this summer, Herrera was a transfer target for Barcelona, but the Red Devils priced the Catalans out of a deal, putting their foot down for nothing short of £60 million for their star.

Jose Mourinho is a man who is quite rigid with his squad. He’s got a winning team now, one that’s won all of its opening games without conceding; sadly, Herrera is on the fringes of that team.

With a world cup year well already underway, Jose Mourinho must find a way of giving more playing time to a star player like Ander Herrera. The Spanish international is much better than a bit-part player.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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