It’s all sunshine and roses at Man United these days.
The Red Devils have turned their season around under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, losing just three times since December and only once in the Premier League.
Suddenly, the side that was dying under Jose Mourinho is now full of life.
Not only has the baby-faced wonder got the team winning again, but he’s also coaxing the very best out of a number of United’s players; notably Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
Perhaps the not-so-secret to that success has been the rigid starting line-up that he’s stuck to, which includes the attacking trident of Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard in front of a solid midfield of Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera.
Of course, Pogba and Matic were regulars in United’s starting line-up under Mourinho, but the inclusion of Herrera has been somewhat surprising, considering he’s spent long periods on the peripherals of the club’s starting line-up in recent years.
Indeed, since joining United from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, the Spaniard has never really enjoyed a solid run of games – until now.
But despite being under-played at United, Herrera has become a cult hero among the club’s fan base; loved on the same level as past favourites like Darren Fletcher, Park Ji-sung and even Owen Hargreaves.
Tenacity, determination and relentlessness is something they all have in common, and it all seems to go down rather well at Old Trafford.
Unsurprisingly, he receives very little of that love from United’s rivals.
At Liverpool, for example, he’s still remembered for his role in Steven Gerrard’s sending off in an FA Cup match in 2015.
This season, he’s really come into his own.
In recent months, Herrera has complemented the playmaking brilliance of Pogba and the defensive hard-work of Matic expertly.
With a mixture of grit and creativity, the Spaniard has played a vital role in the club’s new system of pressing their opponents hard when off the ball, and getting the ball forward quickly on the counter-attack.
Couple that with his ability to spur on the players around him and you’ve got yourself quite the leader in midfield.
Fans are desperate to see Herrera sign a new contract, with his deal expiring in the summer.
Before Solskjaer took over, he was linked with a return to Bilbao for next season, while his expiring deal has reportedly alerted French giants Paris Saint-Germain to his availability in the summer.
But hopefully, his new-found importance to the team could see him stick around a little longer.
In a press conference back in December, Solskjaer was positively gushing over the 29-year-old, saying: “He’s a midfielder, it’s a bit different to Paul, to Nemanja with their physical attributes.
“But he runs and he runs, he wins the ball, plays it simple, he makes some good runs into the box as well. ”
Whether he stays or not, he’ll forever go down as a club favourite; someone who’s remained loyal and reliable throughout United’s tricky, post-Ferguson era.
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