Taking one quick gander at Ander Herrera, he doesn’t strike you as a Jose Mourinho player – a diminutive, lightweight midfielder of the typical Spanish mould.
During his first few seasons at Old Trafford, the former Athletic Bilbao star struggled to find his place within the team, but somewhat unexpectedly, Mourinho has really brought his United career to life, utilising Herrera as the hardworking balancing act in an engine-room-trio also including Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba.
Herrera’s predominant role is to remain as busy as possible, dropping deep to support Carrick but also venturing forward and assist Pogba, winning the ball back whilst smartly moving it on. In a nutshell, the 27-year-old is tasked with an all-action approach, and he’s certainly meeting those demands this season.
Indeed, although United had to settle for a point against the Reds, Herrera didn’t let his side down and was at the heart of the action once again. As our infographic shows, he completed five tackles, four interceptions and two clearances, but also weighed in going forward with one created chance and one successful dribble. Furthermore, his 76 touches was the third-most of any player on the pitch.
More expensive and experienced accomplices may be gaining the most attention in midfield at the moment, but Herrera remains the glue holding this United side together.