Ander Herrera is an unsung hero for Manchester United, according to Paul Dickov, with the midfielder reportedly close to signing a new three-year deal.
While bigger stars such as Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial may take the headlines, Dickov says the Spaniard is the main man for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the middle of the park and has likened him to Fernandinho at Manchester City.
He told The Debate: “I think he is an integral part of what Solskjaer has tried to do since he’s been in there. He’s the main man in there and an unsung hero. You look at the job Fernandinho does for Man City and Herrera does that as well. He has turned into a real leader.
“I think he has gone under the radar in the last 11 or 12 games since Ole’s been in there because the big hitters have been getting all the credit, but he’s a real leader for Ole in there.
“I’m slightly surprised United have waited this long to offer him a new contract. They’ve sorted other ones out over the long term and he’s one I think they should have done a little bit sooner.”
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Fellow panellist Kevin Campbell has also credited Pogba’s resurgence to the form of Herrera in recent months and believes he can be a top performer for United in the coming years.
He added: “Under Jose Mourinho, he was in and out of the team, he didn’t look himself and now Solskjaer has come in and he’s looking like a player who is a main stay in that team.
“He sits there and allows Paul Pogba to break forward and express himself and that’s what Man Utd have needed. Everyone has been asking ‘what happened to Pogba?’, but actually, Ander Herrera happened to Pogba.
“Nemanja Matic is being the old Matic and Pogba is flourishing. He’s definitely going to be a top player for Man Utd for years to come if they sign him.
“Every team has to have a player who does the dirty work and doesn’t really get the headlines but he’s always one of those players you want in your team.
“I think he’s a tough little cookie in there as well, he puts a lot of work in, puts his foot in and we talk about Fernandinho doing that for Man City and Herrera does that a lot for United. The flare players get more of the plaudits, but he is someone who is really proving himself right now.”