Rangers have reportedly agreed a deal to sign the Mexican international from Club Universidad Nacional (Pumas), subject to a work permit. Here’s everything you need to know about the striker, who once played for Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha in a loan spell at Santos Laguna.
He spent time on loan in the 2016/17 season
After an impressive 2015/16 campaign with Pumas, where he netted 15 goals in 37 league appearances, the right-footed forward struggled a little the following campaign. He played 16 times in the first half of the league season, but started only five times, scoring once. He did bolster his numbers somewhat in cup competitions, though, scoring five times combined in the Copa Libertadores and the CONCACAF Champions League.
In search of regular football, he moved to Veracruz. Though he was able to establish himself in the first team, starting 12 of 13 games, he couldn’t quite recapture his goalscoring form, netting a further three times.
Rangers are now set to take advantage of the situation and offer Herrera the opportunity to become the leading marksman at Ibrox.
He’s a penalty box striker
Herrera doesn’t take a lot of shots from outside the penalty area, or too many shots in general. He doesn’t appear to be the type who will drop deep to collect, drive it forward and look to strike. Rather, he plays on the shoulder of defenders in a classic No.9 sense, and sniffs out chances in the box.
In the 2015/16 Liga MX he had 91 shots at goal, only six of which were from distance, while his average of 2.17 shots per 90 minutes ranked pretty low among out-and-out strikers. This would indicate he’s the kind of attacker who requires decent service. The good news is, if he does, he tends to score. His 50 per cent shooting percentage in 2015/16 ranked eighth of all players in the Mexican top flight.
He does have a good touch, so can still be involved effectively in build-up play, but linking with the midfield is not the strongest aspect of his game.
He loves a header
At 6ft 1in, he’s got decent height for a striker and loves to get his head on the ball. In 2015/16, he was second of all players with 27 headed shots across the Liga MX season. This dropped to 11 the following campaign, though his playing time was reduced dramatically.
Even through the transition of Mark Warburton to Pedro Caixinha, Rangers still use their full-backs to get forward and supply crosses into the penalty area. If Herrera joins, then he should have enough ammunition to keep his love affair with the headed shot going.
There are similarities with Joe Garner
Herrera earns his living battling with opposition players. He’s got great strength and a desire to fight for the football. This helps his game because, though he’s got quick reactions around the penalty area, he lacks straight-away pace to stretch defences.
Due to his sinewy, tall frame, there’s no other Rangers striker who immediately springs to mind when you watch him play. However, given what we’ve covered (combative, penalty box player, lacks pace) the current Ibrox attacker he mostly resembles is Joe Garner - though perhaps without the reckless streak and a bit more technical proficiency.
There have been conflicting reports regarding last summer’s £1.5m signing. Some have suggested he was high on a list of players Caixinha wished to force out of the club; others insisted he had a chance to play his way into contention, having impressed the manager with his fighting qualities. Signing someone with similar strengths and weaknesses would indicate the Englishman is heading for the door, and adds credence to the reports he could be returning to England for a cut-price fee.