Former United defender and current popular pundit Danny Higginbotham gives his reaction to the signing of Ander Herrera. Author Wayne Barton was asking the questions.
United have announced the signing of Herrera – after such a long time wanting a midfielder, do you think he’s exactly what fans are wanting?
One hundred percent. United have never replaced Paul Scholes or Roy Keane which is a very tough ask. Herrera has a bit of both their styles. Can tackle and also can pick a pass.
There was already some suggestion that with Spanish football not covering itself in glory in the World Cup, and Herrera not even being in the squad, we should be looking at maybe Dutch or German players. Do you agree with that?
No, not at all. Sometimes players are over looked and if you look at Spain’s midfield with Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Alonso to name a few you can possibly see why. My betting is he will be in the next squad though and become a mainstay in their midfield.
How much have you seen of Herrera and from what you have seen, do you rate him?
I saw him a few times for Bilbao last year and like I said previously he can do everything you would want from a midfielder. He can break up play he can dictate play. He had plenty of assists at Athletic Bilbao and he scores his fair share as well.
He went to great lengths to make the move happen, apparently sacrificing a fee and also helping United with the buyout of his contract – is it that kind of desire we’ll be needing to see on the pitch?
Of course but it goes without saying that Manchester United is on of the biggest clubs on the planet. People going on about not being in Europe, but to top players there is an attraction to join a club and get them back where they previously were because great players love the challenge.
Herrera will surely be first choice. Do you expect him to be alongside Carrick, Fellaini, or A.N Other?
I’m sure there will be other signings and possibly midfielders but that question will obviously be best answered by the manager.
The other thing that this means is that we now have three Spanish players at the club – we’ve seen Mata and De Gea are very close. De Gea obviously is a player we want to keep for a long time – do you think the Herrera move helps our chances with De Gea?
I don’t think it would have mattered either way. De Gea is first choice, will surely be first choice for Spain next season and has had a fantastic season. More importantly he looks very content and happy at Manchester United.
We’re also reported to be close to signing Luke Shaw… there has been talk of us being in for Daley Blind of Holland too. Is £35m too steep for Shaw or a price we should pay?
It’s a big price but like all players you’re worth what someone is prepared to pay for you. He could arguably be England’s first choice left back in the very near future and he is another that will only get better. I would say even at such an early age he is possibly one of the best left backs in Europe. It’s a lot of money but investment wise could be worth it with him being so young and having so many years ahead of him.
As for yourself, after a great introduction into punditry, you’ve been commentating on the World Cup – how have you found that, and how are you enjoying the great tournament?
On a personal note it’s been fantastic to get a co comms game in the World Cup for itv and also Talksport. Only 9 months ago I was doing my first tv co comms and it was Manchester United under 21s v Bolton so it’s been a quick rise. I believe I have worked very hard for it and I have always said the harder you work, the luckier you get. Hopefully I can keep progressing starting with Manchester United’s tour of America then into the new season.
As for the World Cup it’s been refreshing to see it so open and much hated possession stats being thrown out of the window. This tournament will be won by the nation that uses the width well and counters quickly.
Thanks to Danny for his time. You can catch him on MUTV this summer on United’s summer tour.