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From 68 to 83: The incredible rise of Ander Herrera in FIFA 17

Ander Herrera has developed into one of the Premier League's finest midfielders.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Ander Herrera of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 16, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Herrera played a crucial role in Jose Mourinho’s masterclass against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea 

Ander Herrera put in a virtuoso performance on the weekend against Premier League leaders Chelsea to shackle PFA Player of the Year contender Eden Hazard. The Spaniard along with the whole Manchester United team were so effective in their respective roles (Herrera had the task of man-marking Hazard) that Chelsea could not even muster a single shot on target with their creator in chief not being given an inch of space.

A brilliant performance capped by a goal summed up the rising public opinion that Herrera was finally justifying his £29 million transfer to fill the Paul Scholes-shaped hole in the Manchester United engine room.

Th Spaniard transferred to the Red Devils in the summer of 2014, becoming the first signing of the Louis van Gaal era. From a box-to-box midfielder with potential, Herrera has now developed into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and is one of its most consistent performers.

At the time of his arrival, he was a highly rated midfielder who had been linked with a move to the club since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson. Herrera was always highly thought of in Spanish football circles and this was evident with his first FIFA card in FIFA 10, where a baby-faced Ander Herrera was rated at 68 at only 20 years of age. His highest attributes were dribbling, pace and passing which were all rated above the 70 point mark. HIs shooting, which still remains wayward was still low with a rating of 58.

With his impressive performances in the Atletic Bilbao midfield, he was given a major upgrade in the next instalment of the game where he was rated at 75. His pace increased to 80, while his passing and dribbling remained in the mid-70s. His shooting, however, was still wayward at 65.

FIFA 12 gave Ander Herrera a rating of 79 and it was around this time that he first received attractive glances from Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United. His speed was given a more realistic rating of 79 while all other attributes increased.

In FIFA 13, Ander Herrera received the first downgrade of his career as his rating dropped to  77 along with a reduction in speed ratings from 79 to 76. While his shooting dropped further, all other attributes received significant gains. FIFA 14 saw a return to the 79 rating for the now Manchester United midfielder. After some penetrative performance for Bilbao in the previous season, his dribbling also rose to 84, which was his highest till then. His shooting, which is by far his weakest point, was still quite poor at a paltry 61.

As Herrera got used to the rigours and physical demands of the Premier League, he also became a more physical player inclined to tackle and win the ball back.  Thus, Herrera’s physical attributes received a 20 point jump in FIFA 15 although his overall rating remained stagnant at 79. He could also pick a pass with a rating of 79.

FIFA 16 saw Herrera’s rating cross the 80-overall barrier for the first time as he cemented his place in Louis van Gaal’s squad. Rated at 81, his chief strengths lay in passing and dribbling the ball. He was also respectably quick with a pace rating of 75. His dribbling remained high as ever at a constant 84.

With last year’s release of FIFA 17, Herrera’s rating rose to even higher levels with the 27-year old being given an overall of 83. His physical attributes increased by nine rating points while his passing hit an all-time high of 81. Although he seems to have lost some speed, Herrera’s shooting shows an improvement from 70 to 72. 

The Spaniard has continued his development this season and has successfully made himself a vital cog in Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United machine which is now unbeaten for over 20 games. His passing, running and tackling have all improved and is now part the conversation of one the best midfielders in world football. His rating is due to an upgrade in the next FIFA release slated for September where we expect him to have a rating of at least 85 points.


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