Manchester United may have found an unlikely replacement for goalkeeper David de Gea: Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera.
A 27-second clip from Manchester United’s pre-season training camp in Seattle, recorded on Tuesday, shows Herrera pulling off some brilliant saves from his teammates.
Herrera showcased excellent reactions and neat footwork, while the midfielder’s goalkeeping skills were all the more impressive due to the fact he wasn’t wearing gloves.
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Manchester United fans, understandably, acted with surprise on social media - with some even joking that Herrera could be the man to replace De Gea if the world-class goalkeeper joins Real Madrid this summer.
Scroll down to see some of the best responses from Manchester United fans on Twitter.
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Herrera now has more competition
Herrera was one of United’s best performers in the second half of last season after a difficult opening six months following his £29 million move from Athletic Bilbao.
It took the 25-year-old a fair amount of time to adjust to Louis van Gaal’s demands, but he ended his debut campaign at Old Trafford with an impressive eight goals - from 31 appearances - to his name.
But despite his eye-catching performances, Herrera may struggle to cement a place in Van Gaal’s starting line-up at the start of next season following the arrivals of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin from Bayern Munich and Southampton, respectively.
Herrera is likely to be used on a rotational basis with the Van Gaal’s two midfield summer signings - but should remain an important first-team player due to the increased number of matches Manchester United will be playing next season.
Even if United fail to qualify for the Champions League group stages - their two-legged play-off round tie will take place next month - they will find themselves in the less glamorous Europa League instead.
Selection headaches for Van Gaal
It’s possible that Herrera will play in the same midfielder as both Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, with the ageing Michael Carrick dropping out.
But then what about Juan Mata? The Spanish midfielder is capable of playing out wide, but his best position is arguably in attacking midfield.
And his chances of playing out wide have been significantly decreased by the arrival of £31 million summer signing Memphis Depay, who is expected to make the right-wing position his own next season.
Van Gaal clearly has some tough squad selection decisions to make next season - but he will just be relieved to have such a talented group of players to chose from.
Manchester United fans: what should be Louis van Gaal’s first-choice XI next season? Have your say in the comments below!
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