Out of 4 Manchester United games this season, Ander Herrera hasn’t started a single one. He has only made two substitute appearances in the Premier League, both lasting less than half an hour.
The release of yesterdays starting eleven against Newcastle saw United fans on social media question the exclusion of Herrera. The fuming was reignited when the Spaniard was left on the bench and Carrick, Valencia and Hernández were subbed onto the field instead.
Last season, Herrera won over the Old Trafford faithful with his high work rate and attacking mentality. In 31 games, across the Premier League and F.A. Cup, he scored 8 goals and set up a further 5.
What was most impressive was how often the Spaniard would score when he shot on target. Of 7 shots on target, in the Prem, he scored 6 goals. He was nearly unstoppable when his shot was on goal.
United signed the midfielder at the beginning of last season for £25.2 million. Louis van Gaal consented to the transfer but Woodward had failed to sign Herrera from Athletic Bilbao in the season before, for David Moyes. His signing, at the time, did seem like Woodward was trying to save some face and show that he can secure United’s targets.
Hopefully, the fans will get to see the 26 year old in midweek. With the Champions League Qualifier all but wrapped up with the 3-1 home victory, where the opposition had only 1 attempt at goal, that resulted in a flukey own goal, Herrera and some other out of favour players should make the starting eleven.
If he puts in a good performance in Belgium, Herrera should get the Premier League game time that he, and United fans, crave.