Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has cited loyalty to the Red Devils as a contributing factor behind his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain.
The Spaniard moved to the reigning Ligue 1 champions this summer after five seasons at Old Trafford.
Why did Herrera leave United? Five things to know…
- Herrera signed for the Red Devils in 2014 from Athletic Bilbao.
- The midfielder made 132 Premier League appearances for the club.
- He only played 22 times in the top flight last season – his lowest tally during his time with United.
- The Spaniard’s contract expired this summer and he could not agree an extension at Old Trafford.
- He chose not to stay in England due to his allegiance with United.
The 29-year-old completed a move to the Parc des Princes despite reports suggesting he had offers from other clubs around Europe.
The Spain international has admitted that PSG’s reputation was a key attraction, but also cited his close relationship with United as a reason why he had to look at clubs operating outside of the Premier League.
“First of all, [I joined PSG] for the project. The club has a classy and glamorous side that I like a lot. Then, because I wanted to continue to play for a big club,” he told France Football.
“And, honestly, I could not see myself playing in another English club. When you have played for Manchester United, it is difficult to go elsewhere.”
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Herrera is clearly a man who values loyalty and admitted that his boyhood club Real Zaragoza still have a place in his heart, despite the fact he has represented a string of other prestigious teams.
“I was happy to play for Athletic Bilbao, another club that is dear to me, and for Manchester United, the biggest club in the United Kingdom, where I felt loved. Today, I am happy to be at PSG, the biggest club in France,” he added.
“I have always given everything to the clubs I have represented and I represent. But I cannot lie to you: the club of my heart is still Real Zaragoza, who I have supported as a child and where I started my career.”
Love to be hated
Herrera knows that playing for PSG may not make him the most popular man in France but is relishing the prospect of being disliked by his rivals.
“[The club’s reputation is] that of a giant! A club that is respected, that is classy,” he said when asked about PSG’s reputation.
“A club where three or four of the best players in the world play. I know too that it is one of the most hated clubs in France, and I like that.”
PSG have brought in Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla, Idrissa Gueye from Everton and Abdou Diallo from Dortmund as they look to defend their title this season.