Ander Herrera’s Man Utd exit, what went wrong for Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba’s talent

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera has revealed why he left Manchester United last summer after five years at Old Trafford.

Despite being a regular part of the team under both José Mourinho and successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Herrera refused to extend his contract and instead opted to seal a free transfer to the French giants.

Herrera sat down with The Athletic to reminisce about his time in Manchester, and here’s what he had to say.

Herrera let his contract expire and joined PSG/PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images.

Herrera’s departure was a bit of a surprise as he was crucial to United’s revival under Solskjaer, but many fans chose to believe the Spaniard was only interested in money when he left PSG. chose

“It wasn’t about the money,” Herrera insisted. “It wasn’t about the duration of the contract offer. In my opinion, I waited too long (for an offer) and deserved more attention from the club. I was a player who gave everything. I gave Never complained. I never went to the media to complain about anything. I never bad-mouthed a manager, a board member, and they waited until I was in my contract. Not five or six months left.

That is why I had some disagreement with him. I tell you that but I also tell you that it’s part of football, part of life, nothing personal. But you ask the question and I offer my perspective as a professional player.

“I thought he was going to come two years before my contract was up, as most other clubs do. I expected him to sign a new contract after my club’s player of the year award in 2017. But they waited until I had six months left on my contract. I just felt sad.”

Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Mourinho’s United notoriously slumped in the first half of the 2018/19 season, leading to the boss’ departure in December 2018.

“It’s true that the last six months were a little different,” Herrera said. “Because he had some disagreements with the club and the team was a little bit, you know… when you see your manager has some conflict with the club, you don’t act like that. It’s true. Every. Everything affects the training session, everything affects the daily work.

“There was something going on between him and the club (during the pre-season tour of the US). But I was just a player. I’m not the one to tell you or find out what (happened between them). I Just trying. “I do my job. But it is true, what you saw then, we were also seeing. There was something going on between him and the club.”

Herrera famously neutralized Eden Hazard/OLI Scharf/Getty Images

Perhaps the most memorable moment of Herrera’s United tenure came during a 2–0 win over Chelsea in April 2017, in which Herrera marked Eden Hazard into the ground while simultaneously contributing to both goals.

“Jose and I both knew that Hazard was the best player in the Premier League at the time, so if we wanted to win this game, we needed him not to touch the ball, or at least As much as possible,” he explained.

“I said, ‘Jose, I’m ready if you need me to man-mark him, follow him everywhere. If he wants to go to the bathroom, I’ll go with him because I want to win the game. I am.’ “The important thing in football is that my team wins, because then I go to sleep happy. It doesn’t matter what you have to do, as long as you respect the rules and don’t do anything illegal.”

Herrera was full of praise Paul Pogba/Ian McNicol/Getty Images

As he is a former United player, it is literally against the law for Herrera not to talk about Paul Pogba, whom Herrera once described as an ‘NBA athlete with Brazilian feet’. was

“But I would add something else,” Herrera explained. “‘A combination of an NBA athlete with Brazilian feet and a Spanish midfielder.’ He can connect really well—he can do a couple, very fast. He has a good attitude.

“I give you my opinion: I don’t know what other players say but he is a midfielder who has everything. If you look at other midfielders in the world, he can have some qualities — on the ball. Control, long shots, passes, tackles, box-to-box — but Paul can do it all, plus head the ball, score goals, recovery, one-on-ones… everything.

“But of course, if you want to be the best midfielder in the world, it’s about consistency. You have to do it day in, day out. He’s a good guy. He wants to do it. He trains well. . It has to be done every day.”

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