Ander Herrera Says 'Football Not the Most Important Thing' at Manchester United

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (L) puts an arm around Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (R) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has said he doesn't believe football was the most important factor at Old Trafford during his spell with the Red Devils.

The Paris Saint-Germain player spent five seasons with United and became one of the club's most popular individuals after passionate displays for the Premier League giants.

However, Herrera has now said he thinks football was not the most important part of United's overall mandate during his time in Manchester.

According to Metro, Herrera said PSG have a better sporting focus compared to the Red Devils:

"I was very happy at that incredible club. I am very grateful to the supporters. Frankly, I was immensely happy in Manchester, but at the club, there were times when I felt that football was not considered the most important thing."

Herrera was asked if United care more about making a financial profit, and the Spaniard replied:

"That does not come out of my mouth. I don't know, but football was not the most important thing in Manchester. I do not want to compare, all I know is that here [at PSG], I feel like I'm breathing football on all sides. And I like it."

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: Sir Alex Ferguson next to Manchester United chief-executive Ed Woodward ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 06, 2019 in Pa
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

The comments represent a damning assessment from a player who arrived at United shortly after Ed Woodward took control of the Old Trafford boardroom as executive vice-chairman, succeeding outgoing CEO David Gill.

Herrera featured under Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his time at United, and he won three major trophies after success in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League.

The Red Devils have experienced a rapid decline since Gill's departure, which coincided with the retirement of iconic former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite a lack of success in the Premier League, Woodward has continued to boost United's financial profile.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman of Manchester United with David Gill before the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 20, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ca
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Per Bill Wilson of BBC News, the club posted record annual revenues of £627 million in September, with Woodward stating the board are committed to rebuilding Solskjaer's squad and strengthening their academy.

Performances have slowly improved since the start of the season, but United are not credible challengers for the biggest trophies.

Money will need to be spent over multiple transfer windows if United are serious about competing with Manchester City and Liverpool for England's top prizes.