Wayne Rooney has welcomed Ander Herrera, the most recent acquisition by Manchester United, to Old Trafford after the signing of the midfielder was confirmed on Thursday. Herrera arrives on a four-year deal, with an option for a fifth.
Rooney posted on his official Facebook page: “Welcome to Manchester United Ander Herrera! Look forward to playing with you next season!"
Good news for Rooney?
Herrera was initially wanted by Manchester United during the tenure of David Moyes, with the club having strived to recruit the 24-year-old from Athletic Bilbao on the final day of last year’s summer transfer window.
Almost 12 months on, and Manchester United now have their man. There has been a pursuit of Toni Kroos and a renewed approach for Cesc Fabregas in-between, but the club are confident that Herrera will be just what they require in the middle of the park.
Only Fabregas attempted more through balls than Herrera in La Liga last season, and the Basque native has been signed by Manchester United to provide more thrust from the middle of the field and unleash their attacking talents to greater effect.
This should arrive as good news for Rooney, along with Robin van Persie of course, with Herrera able to quickly recycle possession and find the feet of the forwards regularly.
Last season United adopted a more direct role that focused on pumping the ball into the box from wide areas, but Herrera offers more scope to encourage runs from the strikers off the shoulders of defenders - something Rooney and Van Persie will relish.
The new Paul Scholes?
No player will ever adequately replace Paul Scholes - that is a certainty. But Herrera, who signed for a reported £32 million, is the player tasked with offering the creativity and intent that has been missing since the departure of this Manchester United icon.
The club may have identified other targets ahead of Herrera, but he certainly has the attributes to provide Louis van Gaal precisely with what he is looking for. Ryan Giggs for one is impressed with the signing.
One of Spain's best young talents
"Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity,” the new assistant manger told the official Manchester United website.
“We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans.”
Watch: Ander Herrera, welcome to Manchester United
Luke Shaw next?
The signing of Herrera is expected to prompt a flurry of transfer activity at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw seemingly set to become the second deal of the Van Gaal era.
Shaw has been pursued by Manchester United since the conclusion of the domestic season, and the 18-year-old Southampton full-back is reported to have completed a medical ahead of a £27 million plus move.