And Lingard, when asked about his teammate, was quick to point towards the 27-year-old’s supreme work ethic at Old Trafford this season.
“He’ll do anything to win the game,” he said, “[he can] get up the field and make tackles, still has the composure to play as well.”
Marcus Rashford, speaking alongside Lingard, was also full of praise for his teammate.
“That calibre of player that can defend and when the ball back very well but he can play when he gets the ball,” he noted. “In Ander you’ve got both.”
Louis van Gaal acquired the services of Morgan Schneiderlin back in July 2015 for one specific reason: to introduce a genuine midfield stalwart – someone capable of patrolling the middle with a veneer of raw steel, able to relentlessly surge across the pitch all afternoon without experiencing even the slightest dip in intensity.
This was indeed an area – never really dealt with following Paul Scholes’ departure in 2013 – that desperately required consulting, but the solution was actually lying under the Dutchman’s nose this whole time in the form of Herrera. Mourinho took note of this and quickly placed him at the heart of every midfield battle, and the pair haven’t looked back since.