Ander Herrera joined Manchester United in June 2014 to become the first new arrival of the Louis van Gaal era. Although it was a wrench to leave Athletic Club, the Bilbao-born midfielder described the move as a "dream come true".
His schooling in Spanish football came at Real Zaragoza, where he made 41 first-team appearances and helped them win promotion to La Liga in 2009. Two years later, Herrera moved to Athletic Club in the city of his birth for a reported fee of £6.6million.
As one third of an effective midfield triumvirate that also included Oscar de Marcos and Ander Iturraspe, Herrera became a key component in a team that quickly ascended the ranks of Spanish and European football. In fact, during his first season in Bilbao (2011/12) under the tutelage of maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa, the club were runners-up in the Europa League and Copa del Rey.
Athletic Club knocked out United en route to the Europa League final, home and away in March 2012. Herrera played a starring role at Old Trafford for Bielsa's powerfully energetic