Spanish playmaker could fill Di Maria void.
With Angel Di Maria the latest to a long list of Manchester United injuries this season, it looks as though £29m summer signing Ander Herrera could be set for a new role in Louis van Gaal’s team.
The Spanish international joined the club from Athletic Bilbao this summer, and has mostly played a deep-lying midfield role for the Red Devils, though he recently lost his place in the side altogether.
However, Herrera made an impressive return to action in the 3-0 win over Hull City this weekend, coming on for Di Maria as he hobbled off early in the game, and this led to perhaps his finest performance for the club so far.
The 25-year-old has played in a more advanced role in the past, and is also comfortable drifting out wide, and it may be that he will be able to shine in this new role for United, having previously struggled to impress van Gaal enough to include him in the starting lineup regularly.
Herrera has spoken to Manchester United’s official website about this change, and is pleased to give his manager something to think about by filling in for Di Maria while he is out injured.
“Yes, I played like a no.10 and it is good because I can change positions,” he said. “I can give the manager more options. I think this was the best game of this season for us but we have to keep working and keep winning games because we want to be in the top places in the league.”
Herrera was voted man of the match for his performance against Hull, and could be the latest pleasant surprise for the club as a number of players have improved under their new manager this season, some in different positions.
Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have both moved back and now occupy both full-back roles to good effect, while Marouane Fellaini has also enjoyed a good recent run in midfield after a nightmare first season at Old Trafford under David Moyes.
The fluid system and style of play under van Gaal perhaps allows for this, and it is worth noting how well the team have fared despite so many injuries, with those filling in for absent players also able to slot perfectly into the side, wherever they play.
Herrera’s resurgence is the latest reason for United fans to be optimistic about life under van Gaal, with club-record signing Di Maria’s absence perhaps set to be barely noticeable.