Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has compared Swiss champions FC Basel with last season’s Europa League finalists Ajax because of their tendency to promote players from their youth academy.
The Red Devils clinched a 2-0 victory over Ajax in Stockholm in May, and this assured them of a place in the Champions League group stage.
In an interview with MUTV, Herrera insisted that United will pay maximum respect to the Swiss outfit, who have been regulars in the Champions League in recent seasons, he said: “Manchester United should be in the Champions League every season. Now we are back after one season and we have to know where we come from. We won the Europa League but we were not in the Champions League, so we have to respect every opponent. We face Basel and they’re a very talented team with young players. I think we can compare them with Ajax as they also promote very talented players and have a fantastic Academy.”
Meanwhile, Herrera also admitted that it won’t be easy going against the likes of CSKA Moscow and Benfica with both teams holding a strong record on their home turf. Manchester United had struggled for goals during the course of the previous campaign, but they have shown an improvement in this regard having notched 12 goals from their opening four league games.
They also found the scoresheet in the 2-1 European Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid, and could have prolonged the game to extra-time, had Marcus Rashford lashed onto the opportunity in the dying minutes of the match. The midfield was often found short due to Paul Pogba’s tendency to roam forward but the arrival of Nemanja Matic plus the revival of Marouane Fellaini has brought a sense of calm in the centre of the park. Manchester United entertain Basel in the Champions League opener on Tuesday night.