The Red Devils secured a spot in the Champions League group stage with a rampant 4-0 victory away at Club Brugge in mid-week, giving them a 7-1 aggregate victory over the Belgian side.
While Wayne Rooney was the star at the Jan Breydel Stadium, bagging a hat-trick, Herrera scored the club’s fourth and was an effective presence when playing just off the England striker.
While Herrera initially struggled to get into the match, he eventually proved his worth as the contest wore on, featuring in a more advanced role.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match against Swansea City, van Gaal has confirmed that Adnan Januzaj—who has previously starred in the hole—will be injured, and the Dutchman has apparently backed Herrera to step in and fill the void.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 28, 2015
“I had a theoretical scheme in my head that he could play at no.10 and he did it well against Brugge,” the manager said, speaking to the press ahead of the weekend’s match, as reported by the Mirror.
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Herrera’s place in the United starting XI had potentially been in threat this season following the summer arrivals of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, while the likes of Michael Carrick, Daley Blind and Marouane Fellaini represent further competition.
A new lease of life as a No. 10 could prove to be Herrera’s ‘way in’ to van Gaal’s plans.