Louis van Gaal has challenged Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera to up his game if he wants to cement a permanent place in his starting line-up for the Red Devils.
The former Spanish Under-23 international joined the former Premier League champions in the summer from La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao, a move that was signed off the by the club before van Gaal, who was manager of the Netherlands at the time, was even appointed as the replacement to David Moyes.
The former Real Zaragoza midfielder has been used fleetingly by the former Bayern Munich manager, having made just six starts in the Premier League this season – Herrera has made a further six substitute appearances in England’s top flight, too. Plus appearing in all of United’s FA Cup games so far (his only full 90 minutes came against Yeovil Town, a game in which he scored in).
The Manchester United gaffer was talking to reporters ahead of today’s clash with West Ham United when he said:
“I have to compare him with people like Rooney and Mata, for example, so that’s difficult, they are all at a high level – he has to improve
“But he’s a great guy, he’s a very great professional also, so that’s not the problem – his problem is he has to compete with high level players and Rooney is also the captain so he has a privilege.
“So then the other places are the place of the position in this system that we are playing now with a number 10 and that’s Mata and that’s Di Maria. That’s difficult to compete against but he did already know that at the moment that he signed for Manchester United.
“When you sign for a top club like he did he knows that he is had to fight but he is fighting.
“He is coming back, there were a lot of weeks he was down but now he is coming back.”