His performance during Man United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, hallmarked by a superb assist for Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 28th minute goal, further consolidated his status as one of Mourinho’s most important players.
The 53-year-old, speaking after the game against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, was quick to shower praise on the 27-year-old.
“I think the most important thing for a player is the manager and the fans,” he said.
“Ander has both the manager and the fans. So I don’t think he’s worried about others bringing him to the limelight. He knows that he is having a phenomenal season for us.
“That is why he plays, that is why he had his international debut with the Spanish national team. And yes, I think our midfield was very good on Sunday, all of them, so I’m happy for them.”
One could sense that, against Spurs, Mourinho had finally unearthed his ideal starting XI. The structure in their build-up was evident, espousing a clear purpose, with Mourinho’s warriors pressing and attacking opponents as one well-drilled unit.
At the heart of that, as always, was Herrera. This Man United side revolves around the finely balanced midfield trio of Pogba, Carrick and the 27-year-old: the Frenchman provides precision and powerful impetus going forward, whilst Carrick acts as the calm, ever-present metronome at the base of midfield.
Herrera, on the other hand, brings the noise: raw energy, crunching tackles and vital interceptions form the basis of the Spaniard’s game, and United fans will be keen to see him continue in similar fashion in the coming weeks.