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Creativity and tough tackling: What should we expect from Ander Herrera?

Inside Old Trafford

Manchester United look set to complete the signing of Bilbao's Ander Herrera, but what is to be expected of the Basque midfielder?

Manchester United are looking to complete the £28.8m signing of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera before the end of the week after Louis van Gaal sanctioned a renewed move for the 24-year-old, if recent reports are to be believed. 

Based on last season's statistics, what should we expect from the Basque midfielder?

Ambitious in attack

  TeamPosGoalsShot Acc (%)Ontarget Scoring AttShot Off TargetBlocked Scoring AttConversion Rate (%)AppsMins
Ander Herrera Athletic Bilbao MF 5 38 19 31 18 10 33 2558

The Basque-star has gained a reputation in Spain for not being afraid of having a go at goal. He averaged over two shots a game last season for Bilbao, more than the majority of midfielders in La Liga. 

He finished the season with five league goals, two of which came from outside the penalty area. Only Juan Mata scored more from Man United’s current selection of midfielders.

Creative impetus

  Goal AssistTotal Att AssistPass Acc (%)Dribble Succ (%)
Ander Herrera 5 53 81 52

The Spaniard created more chances than any Old Trafford midfielder last season, fashining 53 scoring opportunities for his teammates. He accumulated five assists in total.

His pass completion rate of 81% is less impressive, but this should quickly improve whilst playing in Van Gaal's fast, attacking system. 

Feisty in the tackle

  Won TackleTackle Succ (%)Avg Def ActionFoulsYellow Card
Ander Herrera 75 47 2 49 7

Herrera stands in good stead for a long, successful career in the Premier League thanks to his physical, tough tackling style of play. He won 75 tackles in La Liga last season; a total superior to any player in Spain's World Cup Squad. 

Furthermore, of every Athletic player he averaged a greater number of challenges per matchmore tackles per match (3.1), while Marouane Fellaini, came closest to competing with that figure (2.8) of every United player.

Throughout the past campaign he conceded 49 fouls, whilst receiving a yellow card on average one in every three and a half games.

Capable in the transition

Herrera is not a number 10, but he can play there, as he did for the majority of last season with Bilbaio. He is more naturally a box-to-box midfielder; the style of player the Red Devils have been lacking for some time now. 

The 24-year-old plays his best football in the middle of the park, where he can utilise his athleticism to win possession back for his team, before moving the ball into attack. 

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