Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera reportedly had a ‘fall out’ with manager Jose Mourinho towards the end of last season that is said to have changed the nature of the strong relationship the pair enjoyed throughout 2016/17.
Mourinho reinvented Herrera as a destructive deeper lying midfielder after the Spaniard had previously flirted with #10 responsibilities and watched on as he became an automatic starter.
Yet fans couldn’t fail to notice that the club’s ‘Player of the Season’ hasn’t been really involved this season. That is partly to do with the summer arrival of Nemanja Matic and Mourinho’s focus on a more attacking system to prevent a repeat of last season’s excessive number of draws.
Yet there is also a suggestion that Herrera needs to regain his manager’s trust.
According to the Daily Mail, the player fell foul of Mourinho when he invited a friend with ‘close links’ to Celta Vigo to visit United’s Carrington training ground shortly before United were due to play the Spanish club in the Europa League semi-finals in April.
Herrera’s actions are said to have been perfectly innocent, but Mourinho apparently recognized the guest and was less than pleased, later giving his star midfielder a stern telling off.
It is important to note that the Mail’s report makes it clear there is unlikely to be any effect on the ongoing negotiations over a new long-term contract, yet a source claims the relationship between manager and player has never quite been the same since.
“We used to joke that he was Jose’s golden boy, and they were always chatting about the game. But the dynamic has changed since the end of last season. It’s not the same,” an ‘insider’ told the newspaper.
Herrera’s chance to regain his manager’s trust on a more permanent basis may come from Paul Pogba’s enforced absence for the next few weeks.
Mourinho will need Herrera to cover for the injured Frenchman and this is the opportunity the fan favourite has been waiting for.