Right from the get go when Herrera joined in the summer, Mata and De Gea took the Basque midfielder under their wings and created the beginnings of United’s Spanish armada.
As the season has progressed, you can really tell that their friendship off the pitch is helping their football on it and ever since Louis van Gaal started using Mata and Herrera together in midfield, United have reaped the rewards.
Their performances against Villa were excellent, in particular Herrera who scored two goals and was the stand-out performer on the day, and their celebration together after one of Ander’s goals typified the great team spirit at United right now.
Mata and Herrera hugged like a couple who were meeting at an airport terminal for the first time in years having been kept apart.
Don’t underestimate the importance of friendship and good feeling between players when it comes to performances. As Herrera and Mata have shown recently, it can work wonderfully well and long may it continue (although David de Gea might start getting jealous!).