Scouting Report: Ander Herrera

The new signing did more bad than good on his Premier League debut as Manchester United suffered another Old Trafford defeat reminiscent of the David Moyes era
Ander Herrera was the only new Manchester United signing on display at Old Trafford on Saturday, but he could not carry the burden of expectation on another poor day in the Premier League for the Red Devils.

He did more bad than good and lasted just 65 minutes as the hosts lost 2-1 to Swansea, but did show flashes of his technical ability on occasions.

It was not a sparkling debut for Herrera, who only showed glimpses of his talent on the ball and too often failed to make an impact in defence.

For a player who describes himself as United's Nigel de Jong, too often he failed to make his presence known at the base of the midfield, and was absolutely nowhere near Ki for Swansea's goal. The South Korean was in oceans of space to stroke home from the edge of the box, and Louis van Gaal will have no doubt told the Spaniard to do more in the second half. Sure enough, 10 minutes after the break he put in two fouls in quick succession on Ki.

In terms of his passing, one moment stood out in particular in the ninth minute when he pounced on a loose Ashley Williams pass and played a brilliant first-time ball to Javier Hernandez. Unfortunately there were a few wayward passes after that, which were either cut out by opponents or rolled through to Lukasz Fabianski in the Swans goal.


Probably that pass in the ninth minute. The ball came straight at him but was bouncing, and he killed it dead and played a perfect, smooth pass to Hernandez before receiving it back and playing it out to the right to Jesse Lingard.

It may not have been much but it did highlight his technique, which he has been demonstrating for Athletic Bilbao for years.

The failure to track Ki, or at least get the midfield sorted as Darren Fletcher drifted over to the left, lead to Swansea's opening goal. Wilfried Bony's block on Phil Jones was very clever, bordering on the illegal, but the space afforded to Ki allowed him to take his time over the finish and find the bottom corner.

An adjustment period was always likely to be required, and although he has been keen to get stuck in during pre-season, he will have learned plenty about the physicality of the English game after an hour with Jonjo Shelvey et al.


Given United's lack of midfield options, his class and his price tag, you would assume he is a guaranteed starter, but after being taken off with 25 minutes remaining for another big-money signing, Maraoune Fellaini, there is a chance he may lose his place.