Michael Owen has been discussing Ander Herrera‘s role at Manchester United this season, noting that the Spaniard has developed into an “all-round midfield player”.
The Spaniard has enjoyed his finest season in Man United shirt yet under the Portuguese, making 44 appearances in all competitions.
He has featured as a rampaging, tempo-setting menace alongside the more crafty Paul Pogba, complimenting the Frenchman’s innovation with raw steel.
And Owen, speaking ahead of United’s 1-1 draw with Swansea, was full of praise for the way Herrera has progressed this season.
“I thought he was more of an attacking midfield player at the start, with assists and goals,” he said.
“But he’s been used in a variety of positions and in the game against Chelsea he was doing the man-to-man marking job. I wouldn’t say he’s blessed with lightning pace but he’s very disciplined and he can create a goal.
“He’s really becoming the all-round midfield player and with the injuries he’s going to be even more crucial. He can defend, he can cut out passes, but when he gets free he can play a perfectly-weighted ball.”
The 27-year-old has gone up several gears this season. He has done everything with an extra level of conviction and thrust under Mourinho, almost as if he has evolved into a completely new player.
But I would argue that Herrera was always capable of such versatile brilliance. His performance at Old Trafford for Atletico Bilbao, a game that saw the visitors win 3-2, holds notable parallels with the mixture of ferocity and positivity going forward seen this season.
He was always capable of reaching this kind of level; all it took was the right manager and the right approach to unlock what has turned out to be an invaluable influence in the middle at Old Trafford.