Manchester United’s summer signing Ander Herrera must improve in order to earn a place in the Red Devils’ starting line-up, according to his manager Louis van Gaal.
The Spanish midfielder has played a peripheral role at Old Trafford since completing his £29 million move from Athletic Bilbao, and has not started a Premier League match for the English giants since December 2 against Stoke City.
Van Gaal says there has been no problem with Herrera’s professionalism - and that his failure to earn a starting berth at Old Trafford is purely down to competition. But he admits that Herrera must improve.
Van Gaal: Herrera must improve
“I have to compare him with people like Rooney and Mata, for example, so that’s difficult, they are all at a high level - he has to improve,” the veteran Dutch coach was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“But he’s a great guy, he’s a very great professional also, so that’s not the problem - his problem is he has to compete with high level players and Rooney is also the captain so he has a privilege.
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“So then the other places are the place of the position in this system that we are playing now with a number 10 and that’s Mata and that’s Di Maria. That’s difficult to compete against but he did already know that at the moment that he signed for Manchester United.
“When you sign for a top club like he did he knows that he is had to fight but he is fighting.”
Van Gaal drops fresh Herrera hint
Van Gaal, however, dropped a hint that Manchester United fans could expect to see more of Herrera over the coming weeks.
“He is coming back,” Van Gaal added, “there were a lot of weeks he was down but now he is coming back.”
Herrera has scored two goals and contributed three assists in his 12 Premier League appearances this season and could now be in line to start against West Ham at Upton Park on Sunday afternoon.