Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is beginning to wonder why the Red Devils went to such great lengths to sign him last summer.
This is according to Steve Bates of the Mirror, who looks in detail as to why United boss Louis van Gaal has often overlooked both the 25-year-old and his fellow Spaniard Juan Mata.
Herrera joined Manchester United in a £29 million deal from Athletic Bilbao last summer but has made just eight starts for the Premier League giants, much to the surprise and frustration of the club’s supporters.
Herrera questioning United's motives
And Bates claims in his latest column that Herrera has started to wonder why United signed him in the first place, writing: “No wonder then that the 25-year-old Spaniard is beginning to wonder just why United went to such lengths to sign him.”
Bates feels Van Gaal would be better off playing both Herrera and Mata in order to boost Manchester United’s chances of achieving their primary objectives this season - namely finishing inside the top four.
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United win more games with Herrera
Interestingly, United’s win percentage increases significantly with the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder in their starting line-up.
The Red Devils’ have won 65 per cent of their matches with the former Spain Under-23 international, compared to 42 per cent when he’s sat on the bench.
Furthermore, Herrera has scored four goals from his eight starts, including the all-important equaliser against Preston North End on Monday night which kept alive United’s hopes of winning their first FA Cup since 2004.
That could prove to be the moment which finally convinces Van Gaal this is a player who needs to start for Manchester United on a weekly basis.
And he could be handed another chance to impress this weekend against Swansea City, with club captain Wayne Rooney set to start upfront for the second match in succession following an ineffective two-month spell in central midfield.
Herrera 'does not fit' Van Gaal's philosophy
A report in Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo this week claimed Herrera has often been left out of United’s starting line-ups this season because he does not meet his manager’s philosophy.
They believe Herrera is “too creative and dynamic” for the pragmatic Dutch coach, who gave Manchester United the green light to sign the midfielder on arrival at Old Trafford last summer.
Van Gaal’s predecessor David Moyes had put in most of the groundwork to sign Herrera and came close to signing him from the Basque club in the summer of 2013.
Perhaps if Van Gaal puts his philosophy to one side for two minutes and starts playing his best players in their natural positions, Manchester United will stand a much better chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League campaign.
Is Herrera the answer to Manchester United’s midfield problems? Have your say in the comments below!