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Manchester United

Herrera understands why he finds himself out of favour at Man Utd

3:30 AM SGT 17/9/17
Ander Herrera Man Utd 2017
The Spaniard is the club's reigning Player of the Year, but has found himself stuck on the sidelines at the start of the 2017-18 campaign

Ander Herrara appreciates that Manchester United’s squad depth means that even the reigning Player of the Year has to be patient.

The Spaniard enjoyed a productive 2016-17 campaign at Old Trafford after being tasked with taking on more of a holding role by Jose Mourinho. 

Man Utd 11/1 to beat Everton 3-1

His efforts were acknowledged at the club’s end of season awards, but the 28-year-old has found himself stuck on the sidelines at the start of the current campaign – taking in just 77 minutes of Premier League action to date.

The arrival of Nemanja Matic in a £40 million move from Chelsea is partially responsible for that, but Herrera acknowledges that he is not the only one facing direct competition in his chosen position.

He told MUTV: “I think now we can say that we have two players in every position on the pitch.

“You have players like Marcus Rashford, a runner who is always looking for the space, and you have [Romelu] Lukaku who can hold the ball in the difficult moments.

“During the game, he can be there holding the ball for everyone, then you have the likes of Juan [Mata] who can come inside to play football.

“Then you have Anthony Martial who is brilliant in one-against-ones, we have Chris Smalling who is brilliant at defending and Daley [Blind] who can play the ball out fantastically well from the back.”

Along with Matic, United also brought in Lukaku and Victor Lindelof over the summer, while putting another short-term deal in place with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Herrera believes that the club are well set to compete on multiple fronts once again, having tasted Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League success last term.

He added: “I know it’s not easy to do what we did last season because we won three trophies, but we are going to try our best.

“I think we’re in a good moment, the club is in a good moment, we have a good understanding with the manager, so I’m very optimistic for the season.”

Herrera could get a look in when United take on Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, or in a League Cup clash with Championship side Burton Albion on Wednesday.