It’s been a long time since Manchester United have had a midfielder like Ander Herrera. Equally as adept at defending as he is attacking, the Spaniard has all the natural attributes a box-to-box midfielder should possess.
He can tackle. He can pass, both short and long, with great accuracy. He has bundles of energy. He is intelligent. He can thread the final ball. He can score a goal. He can do everything a midfielder needs to do.
It’s absolutely no coincidence that United’s best performance since the 4-0 win over QPR, a game where Herrera was nominated for Man of the Match, came when Herrera was back in the side and was named Man of the Match.
Herrera is a footballer you can appreciate on and off the ball. With the ball, he’s a technician. Off the ball, he’s always looking to find space and is already thinking about what he is going to do when he receives the ball. The way he plays, Herrera is a step ahead of himself at all times.
Only 14 players made more tackles on average per game than Ander Herrera (3.1) in the 2013/14 La Liga season
Against Hull, Herrera played in a more advanced position but when needed, he can be just as effective in a more a defensive minded role and is certainly not afraid to put a strong tackle in. Versatility is an asset Louis van Gaal looks for in his players and Herrera certainly ticks the box in that respect.
Herrera has had to patiently wait for his return to the first-team having been an unused substitute in United’s previous four games but after his performance against Hull, the Spaniard has surely played himself straight into United’s starting XI when fit.