Ander Herrera continues to be overlooked by Manchester United - but why?

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Herrera has scored three times for United. (©GettyImages)

It's been well documented that Manchester United's Spanish midfielder, Ander Herrera has been repeatedly left out of Louis Van Gaal's starting XI.

Many Manchester United fans are getting more and more frustrated by the week that he continues to be overlooked.

When Michael Carrick was ruled out for four weeks ahead of United's 3-1 victory over Leicester City, many thought that Van Gaal would finally bring him in to the team, but it wasn't to be.

So why is Van Gaal overlooking a player he agreed to sign for a hefty price of £29 million? There are few reasons why Van Gaal is not picking him.

Firstly it's been reported that the Spaniard has missed one or two physio sessions. Van Gaal is trying to put a stamp on the job and is sending a message out to his players. Missing these sessions will come at a cost which has clearly been the case for Herrera.

Who signed him?

The other contributing factor is whether or not Van Gaal actually wanted him at the club. United were pursuing the player under David Moyes but at the time the deal was handled poorly and Herrera remained at Bilbao.

It was Ed Woodward who negotiated and completed the deal while Van Gaal was at the World Cup with Holland so was not really involved in the deal at all.

A key player?

There's no doubt Herrera is a quality midfield player.. He has quick feet and is positive in his play, always looking to play it forward.

So surely it's like coming to a club and having the previous managers players. You're obviously not going to overlook them simply based on that. Also why sanction the signing if you really don't want the player?

Herrera was left on the bench once again in The FA Cup really against Cambridge. He also, once again made an impact when he came on. He set up James Wilson for United's third goal.

Infact in the vast majority of games he's come on as a substitute, he has made a positive impact. He's either got an assist, scored or since coming on United have looked more fluid going forward.

Tactical plan?

Surely there is more to it than The Spaniard just missing physio sessions. Is it a tactical move from Van Gaal? Especially in recent games, United have bossed a lot of possession and not done a lot. This is best shown in their 2-0 victories over Yeovil and QPR respectively.

United wore down their opponents and then were more penetrating late on. Does Van Gaal want to tire his opponents then bring a player like Herrera on to give them that killer pass, to then take the gambles?

A player like Herrera always looks to play it forward. whether that be a short pass, out wide, a ball over the top or a through ball. However not all those passes come off the way you would like.

They are often gambles, risks. Herrera is willing to take those risks. Does Van Gaal want him taking those risks from the off? probably not. Especially in the big games.

Even with that in mind, surely a game against League two Cambridge, who were playing their fourth game in 11 days, was a good one for him to start?

The future is unclear at the moment but there is still plenty of time for Herrera to get his chance, especially with United's progress in the FA Cup. Will he prove to Van Gaal he deserves to start?

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