Montpellier continued to improve their squad for the new season today with the signing of 25-year old Argentine striker Emanuel Herrera. Joining for a few reported to be around €2 to 3 million he becomes Montpellier’s fourth signing and of course takes the instant tag of Olivier Giroud’s replacement.
Herrera arrives from Chilean club Unión Española who finished 5th in the national championship and reached the Last 16 of the Copa Libertadores with the Argentine scoring five goals in South America’s premier club competition. So to get the best insight into what sort of player Montpellier were buying we went straight to Chilean football expert Joel Sked and he gave us the low-down on La Paillade’s new recruit.
“Herrera is a true number 9; tall rangy and mobile. However he is not as powerful as Olivier Giroud, so don’t expect him to get the ball with his back to goal or facing the goal already and muscle and out-pace his way past defenders in front of him. But he’s adept at playing on the last man and using his strength and tall build to hold of opposition to get shots away.
For Union Espanola he was the attacking focal point in a 4-3-3/4-2-1-3 with inverted wingers/support strikers looking to move infield to play and link off him constantly so he is more than comfortable playing with his back to goal. Like Giroud he has a good touch for a big man.
He is at his best when keeping it simple; touch, pass, link then get in scoring positions. For his first season in the Primera Division he has done fantastically – scoring 16 in 31. The fact he scored five in 10 in the Copa Libertadores indicates that he can do it against stronger opposition.
Towards the end of the Apertura the manager, Jose Luis Sierra, tweaked the formation. Out went Mauro Diaz and in came Emilliano Vecchio. The former was a neat and tidy midfielder who would support the attack from midfield, constantly distributing the ball into Herrera or the wide forwards in dangerous positions. Whereas Vecchio is more individualistic and dynamic, he’d get the ball, run and commit defenders. This affected the chances Herrera was getting and it reflected in his scoring record.
In terms of his goalscoring prowess he is a presence in the air so will cause teams problems aerially but he can finish powerfully off both feet while chipping in with a number of composed finishes.”
It looks like Montpellier have another potential star on their hand, plays in a similar role as Giroud, but looks to also have little extras to his game that will add to the Montpellier attack. Joel ended by say he wasn’t sure if Herrera was quite ready for the challenges that playing in the Champions League will bring, but of course that’s a challenge for all of the playing squad.
With Younes Belhanda announcing his intention to stay in the South of France for another year, Herrera could just be the perfect link for an ever improving playmaker and the duo could be a perfect fit. When Victor Hugo Montano left Giroud was a great replacement and took Montpellier up a level, could Herrera be the signing that helps Montpellier build the clubs status as one of Ligue 1’s big clubs?