Ander Herrera believes former club Manchester United are on the up under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Paris St German midfielder is determined to dent their progress this week.
Tuesday’s Champions League group opener at the Parc des Princes sees the Red Devils return to the scene of one of their greatest comebacks.
United’s last-gasp 3-1 win in March 2019 saw Solskjaer’s side become the first team in the competition’s history to overcome a two-goal home loss and progress from a knockout tie.
Herrera was part of the side that stunned PSG, who he would join on a free transfer that summer and help reach the 2019-20 Champions League final.
“I was a Manchester United player then so, of course, I was very happy with the outcome,” Herrera said when reflecting on that famous win 19 months ago.
“We played a lot of new players. A lot of the first-team players were injured back then. We had hope and actually played well, and we won, so I was very happy.
“Now, it’s different. I’m a Paris player. I don’t know if I’m going to start or not.
“Whatever’s going to happen, I’m playing for Paris and Paris is in my mind. I’m going to play the best I can and make sure we win.
“The memories are nice but this is a whole different game. No fans, different atmosphere. We’re ready to win now.”
While there will be no split loyalties on Tuesday, Herrera clearly still loves United and has many friends at a club where he was a popular figure.
The 31-year-old won the 2016-17 Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year and continues to keep a close eye on his former club, who he accused of having priorities other than football shortly after leaving.
Herrera would not be drawn on those comments ahead of facing his former club, instead saying they are on the right track despite the negative background noise.
“Manchester United is the biggest club in the UK – it’s the club that I am a fan of in the UK – but we have to be fair with the situation,” Herrera said.
“All the other teams have improved a lot. Now we have more competitors for the titles than before.
“What Sir Alex Ferguson did for the club is difficult to compare with all the other managers or even with all the other clubs.
“I think Manchester United has not to forget – because the memories are great and all the fans have it in the mind – but it’s a new situation, it’s a new era, it’s a new Premier League, it’s new football.
“They are progressing, I think. They have signed the right players, in my opinion, and they are going to improve and they are progressing.
“I don’t think they are going backwards. I think they are going forward.”
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