As Manchester United continue to enjoy pole position in this season’s race for the Premier League title, one can’t help but feel there is still a missing piece of the jigsaw.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s current squad is in transition and may remain so for another season or so. The Champions League winners of 2008 are delicately being phased out and steadily a new revolution is taking shape.
Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Alexander Buttner, Fabio, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez, complimented by existing pros who transcend the era, are the future of the Manchester United.
It will likely be Sir Alex Ferguson’s final squad of his illustrious career, his final masterpiece. But it still feels like the painting isn’t quite complete just yet—it’s a brushstroke short of another top team.
Many feel United is missing a box to box midfielder—a player that can put a foot in and destroy opposition advances, but also contribute in a creative, innovative and dynamic fashion going forward.
That player is Hector Miguel Herrera.
Much has been written about how Victor Wanyama or Kevin Strootman are the perfect fit to complete United’s new dawn.
Wanyama is a massive unit, a destroyer that is able to take control of a match by the sheer domination of his physique, but his game is limited.
Strootman is a more complete midfielder and can create as well as constrain, but he is not fancied by United’s first-team coach Rene Meulensteen (via SkySports.com):
The name Strootman has internally never been discussed. We follow every young player with potential. In England, some media call him ‘the new Roy Keane’ but that seems like nonsense to me.
However, Mexican international Hector Herrera has it all.
Attributes include craft and vision, but also a relentless tenacity that hectors (pardon the pun) the opposition into submission. His high energy, combative style, coupled with pace and deft touch has alerted the elite clubs of Europe.
You only have to look at his most recent goal for current club C.F.Pachuca to understand that the 22-year-old midfielder known as Zorro (the fox) looks the part.
In August of last year, Pachuca’s Sporting Director Andres Fassi confirmed official interest in Herrera by stating (via The Sun), “We know he’s going to emigrate to England. Manchester United and Liverpool have talked to us.”
Recently Pachuca’s President Jesus Martinez intensified the speculation (via The Daily Mail)
At this moment there is no concrete offer on the table, but there certainly is a lot of interest. Porto are not the only side in the race. There is also a club from England and another one in France. Pachuca plan to sell Herrera in the summer of 2013.
And Herrera has already displayed winning credentials.
He secured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and just prior to this, Mexico U21s won the Toulon Tournament.
The Toulon Tournament saw Herrera scoop the player of the competition or Meilleur Joueur—previous winners have been Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Javier Mascherano so he’s in good company.
He could well be the missing piece of yet another great Manchester United side.
Do you think Herrera is the box to box midfielder United has been looking for? Give me your thoughts below or hit me up on Twitter @jonathanbeever.