Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera relished the opportunity to play further forward than usual during his side’s 3-0 victory over Hull City, and revealed that he was happy to have been awarded the Man of the Match award.
The Spaniard was brought on as a substitute by Louis van Gaal after Angel Di Maria picked up an injury in the first-half, but excelled in a role far more advanced that fans are used to seeing him in.
Boost for United
Herrera was an influential figure as United romped to a third successive Premier League victory, and even suggested that the performance was the team’s best this season.
The 25-year-old told United’s official website: "Yes, I played like a no.10 and it is good because I can change positions. I can give the manager more options.
"Yes, I played like a no.10 and it is good because I can change positions. I can give the manager more options"
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"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's position at United
Indeed Van Gaal will have been pleased with how Herrera coped when tasked with fulfilling a role in a fresh position, as he’s seen his squad stretched thin in recent weeks.
Injuries to a host of first-team players have meant that the Dutchman has been forced to juggle with his selections, and though the supposed crisis has taken place in the defensive third of his squad, knowing that he has another option to play the coveted No.10 role will certainly give him assurances.
As for Herrera himself the showing against Hull will have undoubtedly provided him with a huge confidence boost. Despite finally making a switch from Athletic Bilbao to Old Trafford this summer, after the debacle of last summer’s failed move had threatened to curtail any chance of a transfer going ahead, the former La Liga ace has found himself on the bench frequently of late, thanks in no small part to the impressive form of Marouane Fellaini.
Dispelling the rumours
Having sustained an injury during United’s clash with West Bromwich Albion in October, Herrera found himself pushed out of the starting lineup, and the form of those competing for his position left little room for manoeuvre of Van Gaal’s part.
Yet now he’s been given his chance to shine, albeit at the expense of Di Maria’s fitness, Herrera will be looking to solidify his place in United’s starting lineup moving forward and dispel any lingering rumours that his first season at Old Trafford could also be his last.
Tabloid speculation has inferred that he could be used in order for Van Gaal to raise funds, a notion fuelled by his occupation of the subs bench.