Ander Herrera‘s return to Athletic Bilbao has been an impressive one. After leaving the club in 2014, Herrera returned to La Liga in the summer of 2022 to play for his boyhood club. Since his return, Herrera has quickly become an integral member of the team. He has already featured in eight matches this season, starting all but one of them. His influence in the midfield has been evident, with Herrera‘s passing accuracy and ball–winning ability helping to control the tempo of the game. Herrera is in the final stages of his career and has potentially passed his peak days, but still manages to impress on the field and will act as a good guide in the Athletic dressing room. Below, we look at his stats over the seasons while playing in La Liga.
Herrera’s previous performances
The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player in comparison with other midfielders in Ligue 1 for the 2021 season. He played a total of 576 minutes for the PSG team. It can be seen that he ranks highly in terms of his positioning stats. He ranks in the top 96.4 percentile for the ability to get into dangerous positions. One of the areas where he can improve is in the attacking stats in terms of expected goal contributions per 90.
The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player in comparison with other midfielders in Ligue 1 for the 2022 season. Ander played a total of 19 matches in Ligue 1 in the season. It can be seen that Herrera ranks highly in terms of his possession stats. He ranks in the top 96.9 percentile for passes attempted per 90. He shows a high level of confidence in keeping the ball and likes to build the play from central positions. He is also performing well when it comes to making dangerous passes and making movements in dangerous areas. One of the areas where he improved is in the attacking stats in terms of expected goal contributions per 90.
Passing and positioning maestro
Herrera is a midfielder who adds composure and an ability to maintain possession in the midfield. His ability to maintain possession and provide a good supply of passes makes him valuable. The above viz shows the passes made by Herrera in La Liga 2022/23. The player makes 51.12 passes on average per 90, with a completion rate of 87.8%. It can be seen that he makes many forward passes, averaging 14.68 per match, and makes 9.24 passes to the final third per 90 minutes, next to 2.18 passes into the penalty area.
Central attacking tendency
Herrera has made a total of eight penetrating carries in eight appearances for Bilbao this season. He has shown his ability to break down opposition midfielders and progress up the pitch from the centre. He plays smart one-twos with his teammates and forwards and is able to make intelligent darting runs straight down the middle.
The veteran at defence
The above viz shows the defensive territory and various high regains of the player in La Liga 2022/23. It indicates that the player is involved in a lot of defensive actions in the defensive third and makes interceptions near the defensive and middle thirds. It can be observed that he has given up a few fouls and has averaged 2.7 fouls for the season. He has an average of 16.59 duels per 90 and a 39% win rate. Ander averages 4.89 interceptions per 90 minutes and makes a lot of movement in the opposition’s half in order to put high pressure on the opposition’s midfield and final third. He makes 9.24 successful recoveries in the opposition’s half per 90. Herrera is a great ball-winner, which is an asset in Athletic’s midfield as they will be able to win the ball back and keep possession more effectively.
Overall, Herrera has been a key player for Bilbao since his return. His passing, ball–winning ability and defensive contribution have been crucial in helping the team to a strong start to the season. Athletic Bilbao appears to be in for a successful season with Herrera on the team.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine