Much has been said about Ander Herrera’s failure to hold down a regular starting spot at Manchester United since his summer arrival.
After all, the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder scored two goals and set up another in his first three Premier League matches, while he has also proved to be the FA Cup hero on three occasions already this season.
Herrera has often been overlooked in favour of the likes of Marouane Fellaini or Wayne Rooney, when the latter is far more effective in a forward role.
But after impressing, and scoring, against Preston North End recently, Herrera started United’s league game against Swansea City, where it took him only 28 minutes to find the net yet again.
That strike made it five goals in 18 appearances, while Herrera also has four assists in that time, and his all-round performance at the Liberty Stadium suggested it was time United manager Louis van Gaal picked him week in, week out.
If Herrera can score and create as regularly as he does when he spends much of his time on the bench, imagine what he could do when allowed to develop a long-term understanding with those around him.
|Passing Accuracy||Goals||Key Passes||Shots||On-target Shooting Accuracy||Duels Won||Dispossessed||Interceptions Won||Mins Played|
On Saturday, Herrera had a passing accuracy of 89 per cent, a shooting accuracy of 50 per cent and he was dispossessed just once all afternoon.
He also made four interceptions and won three duels, showing he is not afraid to get stuck in as any good midfielder should.
If United had numerous midfield options to choose from then Herrera’s time out of the starting line-up would make far more sense. But the simple fact is van Gaal needs him, and it is time the Dutchman embraced that fact.