Ander Herrera became the first new arrival of Louis van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United in June 2014 and he has gone on to become one of the club’s most influential players, winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year Award in 2016/17.
The all-action midfielder’s footballing education came at Real Zaragoza but, just two years after making his first-team debut for the club, he was snapped up by Athletic Club, where he became a key component of the Bilbao side’s midfield.
He went on to notch 128 league and cup outings for Athletic in his three seasons there, helping them reach a Europa League final in 2011/12, and eventually earned himself a move to Manchester ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
The Spain international impressed in his first term at Old Trafford, with his high-energy performances and eye for a forward pass, providing a vital link between defence and attack. He chipped in with eight goals across all competitions and earned plaudits for his dynamism in the middle of the park.
In his second season at the club, his presence on the pitch was not continuous but he still managed to start 27 league and cup games, and a further 14 as a substitute. He also netted several important goals against the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal.
But the Spaniard’s third season at United, 2016/17, was undeniably his best to date, with the energetic midfielder voted United's Player of the Year by fans. Featuring mostly as a tigerish holding player, Herrera added a competitive edge to his natural ball-playing ability.
Herrera continued this role into the 2017/18 season and despite sustaining an injured in our Champions League tie with Sevilla, Herrera came back to full fitness in time to score a winner against Tottenham at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final.
His influence on the United engine room at the heart of midfield remains as important as ever and he relishes his role as one of Jose Mourinho’s key lieutenants on the field.