Herrera and Noble battle for the ball at Upton Park.

Ander Herrera's West Ham performance proof he deserves more game time

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera moved to Old Trafford from his home-town club Athletic Bilbao for £29 million in June 2014.

He scored eight goals and set up five more in his debut campaign at the club and was instrumental in Louis van Gaal’s team securing a Premier League top four finish towards the backend of last season.

However, the 26-year-old has been limited to just 15 league starts so far this term and only managed five goals and two assists in all competitions.


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When given the opportunity to prove his worth against West Ham in the Red Devils' FA Cup quarter-final replay, though, Herrera delivered a performance to suggest he deserves far greater game time than he's currently afforded.

Deployed in a free role alongside Michael Carrick, Herrera was given the license to roam and find small pockets of space to provide support for youngster Marcus Rashford.

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The Spaniard continuously controlled the ball on the half turn to run at West Ham's defence, using his intelligence and creativity to orchestrate a number of opportunities for his side.

He might have been fortunate to not see red shortly before being replaced by Morgan Schneiderlin in the second half, but it was a positive performance nonetheless that proved his ability to Van Gaal.

Herrera has often proved his ability to play as a number ten as well as in the centre of the park, demonstrating balance, quick feet, excellent vision and a keen eye for goal when given the opportunity to shoot.

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His wonderful range of passing and inclination to pass and move wherever possible have proved particular weapons in the past, linking up with Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial to create space and stretch defences.

United's midfield has often been criticised for a lack of imagination and penetration this season, yet they have a player perfectly capable of rectifying such flaws - if only he was afforded the game time to prove that on a regular basis.

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