Ander Herrera's imminent transfer to Manchester United signifies the first part of an overdue midfield renovation at the club.
How far this will stretch is open to speculation, but the Spaniard's arrival is a positive start.
It means United's existing midfielders will have to lift their game, no more so than oft-criticised Tom Cleverley.
As illustrated below, the Englishman was outclassed in 2013/14 by Herrera in several key areas.
|Team||Pos||Goals||Assists||Pass Accuracy %||Key Passes / apps||Won Tackles / apps||Interceptions Won / apps||Apps|
|Ander Herrera||Athletic Bilbao||MF||5||5||80.60||1.60||3.10||1.00||35|
|Tom Cleverley||Man Utd||MF||1||0||89.62||0.45||1.82||1.55||22|
Herrera not only scored more goals and created more 10-1 combined in his favour, but he wins substantially more tackles too.
Cleverley's pass rate is more accurate than Herrera's, but this is because he is more of a risk taker, a more creative player who attempts trickier passes rather than playing it safe, evidenced by the number of key passes he makes per game trebling his new teammate.
If Herrera can continue this at United he will fit in seamlessly and be a valuable addition. United's players averaged poor tackling statistics and this combative element to his game will be an area he makes an instant improvement.
Cleverley needs up his game and make an impact in key areas if he is to show his value. He needs to follow Herrera's lead and take more risks, and it's likely new manager Louis van Gaal will do everything in his power to enable him to flourish. The rest is up to him.