Ander Herrera, a former star for Manchester United, recently discussed his “painful” departure from Old Trafford, and David de Gea has shown his support for Herrera by sending him a message of encouragement.
After moving to Manchester United from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, Herrera, now 33 years old, served as a member of the club for a total of five years. Before leaving the club as a free agent in the summer of 2019, the Spanish midfielder racked up 189 appearances and won the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup, and the Europa League. He also set a club record for most games played in a single season.
Herrera spoke out this week about the circumstances surrounding his departure from Manchester United, revealing that he was “expecting” to receive a better offer to stay at the club after winning plenty of plaudits for his consistency. Once he became available, Paris Saint-Germain swooped in quickly to snap up the former favorite once he became available. Herrera opened up on the circumstances behind his exit, revealing that he was “expecting” to receive a better offer to stay at the club
During an emotional conversation with the UTD Podcast, Herrera expressed how difficult it was for her to leave, saying, “To leave, it was difficult because six months before, five months before, I was expecting that offer for me to stay.”
“When I joined the club at that time, I had somewhat higher expectations for it. I was awarded Player of the Year by the supporters, but the club did not call me that summer to sign a new contract, whereas they did call other players to sign new deals. To tell you the truth, I suffered a lot from that. I believe that I was due it, but they did not give it to me. After that, there was a shift in the conditions due to the fact that I had been unhappy with that brief interaction with the club.”
Shortly after those comments, Herrera broke down in tears after reflecting on his final day at the club, during which he was joined on the field by his daughter as he said goodbye to the fans of Manchester United. After watching the video, De Gea was moved to send a heartfelt message to his former teammate, tweeting the words “Once a Red, always a Red” followed by a heart emoji in red.
Herrera has racked up 96 appearances during his trophy-laden time with PSG in the French capital, but the star-studded squad of the reigning Ligue 1 champions has made it difficult for him to secure a starting spot on a consistent basis.
In the summer, Athletic Bilbao made a swift move to secure Herrera’s services and bring him back to Spain. The brilliant midfielder, who had previously spent three years at Bilbao before being signed by Manchester United, has returned to the LaLiga club on a loan deal for the duration of the current season in order to get more game time.
Bilbao does have the option to purchase Herrera at the conclusion of the loan agreement; however, the playmaker has been limited to just six appearances across all competitions due to a combination of injuries and suspensions, so this option is unlikely to be exercised.
After leaving Manchester United, Herrera signed a lucrative five-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain that keeps him under contract with the club until the summer of 2024.