Ander Herrera explains why he doesn’t mind Nemanja Matic taking his first team role

by Leo Nieboer

Ander Herrera has noted that the sight of Nemanja Matic taking his place in midfield doesn’t bother him, pointing out the congestion of games throughout the campaign that will make his presence necessary.

The Spaniard enjoyed his finest season in a Manchester United first last year, making 51 appearances and claiming the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award in May.

But he has only been used sporadically over the last month with Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and of course Matic dominating proceedings in the middle, making just three starts in total.

And Herrera, speaking ahead of the clash with Palace, noted that his recently reduced role in the staring XI doesn’t preclude him from being an important player at Old Trafford.

“There will be a lot of games this season, so we will sometimes play with two and sometimes with three, so we have a lot of solutions,” he said.

“Matic is a master class, one of the best in the world in that position, and I think he is going to help us a lot. With Carrick and Matic I have two mentors that I can learn from.”

The Spaniard noted a few weeks ago, back when the Pogba and Matic partnership was looking unassailable, that his time would come – and it has, albeit through necessity following injuries to the Frenchman, Fellaini and Michael Carrick.

Nevertheless, Herrera now has an opportunity to re-assert his own identity on United’s midfield, covering ground with fervour whilst Matic plugs the gaps. But he will do more than that. He has shown himself to be a superb harasser of opponents over the past 12 months, but can he make things happen going forward.

Can he, in other words, show himself to be a suitable attacking alternative to Fellaini or Pogba?

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