Scouting Report: Ander Herrera

The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder impressed in another encouraging performance against Roma, playing from the start before coming off at half time in a 3-2 victory
After playing a starring role in Manchester United's 7-0 thrashing of LA Galaxy in Louis van Gaal's first game in charge, summer signing Ander Herrera was handed another 45 minutes against Roma on Saturday.

Herrera set up three of United's seven goals at the Rose Bowl on Thursday - could he put in a similar performance against the Serie A side?

Goal assessed the £29 million man's performance in the 3-2 International Champions Cup victory.


Herrera started alongside Tom Cleverley at the heart of the United midfield and wasted little time in establishing himself in the game.

While Cleverley - who was given the captain's armband and a clean slate by Louis van Gaal - gave the ball away in his own half and almost cost his side a goal early on, Herrera was tidy and confident in possession, combining well with Jones, Valencia and Welbeck on the United right.

And it was Herrera who came closest to unlocking the Roma defence during the opening 30 minutes as his clever through ball allowed Welbeck in behind the opposition back four, but the move fizzled out.

Roma had the better of the first half until Wayne Rooney's sensational strike opened up the game for United. Herrera found Mata with another pass in behind the Italian defence shortly after, but his compatriot saw his effort saved by Lukasz Skorupski.

United's £29m man was involved as United won a penalty which Rooney converted towards the end of the half to make it 3-0. His delightful one-two with Welbeck caught Urby Emmanuelson flat-footed, and he could only bundle down the England international before Rooney sent Skorupski the wrong way from the spot.

It proved to be Herrera's last involvement in the game as nine United players were withdrawn at half time, but he was one of the Old Trafford side's most impressive players, along with Rooney and Mata.


Plenty of positives, judging from the midfielder's two displays for United so far. There is plenty of expectation surrounding Herrera - a £29million signing who was identified as a transfer target long before Louis van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford - but the early signs are promising.

United have been desperate for a ball-playing midfielder who can help the side retain possession and launch attacks from deep, and the clever Herrera looks like he could be that man.

A first season in England will present its own problems, but Herrera looks well equipped to deal with the pace and demands of the Premier League.

A GOOD 2014-15 WOULD BE...

As a signing not selected but rather approved by Van Gaal, Herrera's initial objective will likely be to convince the Dutchman he is an essential part of the team and cement himself in a first choice starting XI at Old Trafford.

And the chance to be remembered as an instant United hero is there for Herrera to grab with both hands after a disastrous season under David Moyes, in which the 2012-13 Premier League champions finished seventh.

After the appointment of Van Gaal, anything less than a finish in the top four and a return to the Champions League will feel like another sub-par performance from such an illustrious club, who have already spent close to £60m this summer and are likely to make more signings before the transfer window closes.

But if Herrera plays a significant role in returning Manchester United to Europe's top table, he might be heralded as one of the signings of the summer.