Why Ander Herrera must start against Crystal Palace for Manchester United

Why Ander Herrera must start against Crystal Palace for Manchester United

The Spaniard has earned his first call-up as a result of an impressive season at Old Trafford.

Ryan Fisher

After securing progression in the Europa League and ending the winning drought in the Premier League at Old Trafford, Manchester United face a crucial run of fixtures that will define their season.

United's next four games in the league see them face just one team in the top half of the table, that being Tony Pulis' West Bromwich Albion, as United take on Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough to round off 2016.

Herrera's progression should earn him minutes

Ahead of the gruelling Chrismas period, the squad will be rotated, but Ander Herrera should feature heavily for the Red Devils, and start against Palace.

In his first two seasons at Old Trafford, under Louis van Gaal, Herrera has struggled to hold down a permanent place in the United side, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick often being preferred.

But Jose Mourinho has identified the Spaniard as an integral part of his side.

Spaniard allows Pogba freedom

Herrera's role is crucial in the side; as in United's best side, Carrick sits in front of the defence distributing passes and controlling the tempo of the game, Herrera provides him with the energy and pace to break up the play.

His break-up play has been pivotal to United's midfield this year, and it's allowed Paul Pogba to have more freedom in an attacking role, rather than the restrained defensive duties he had earlier in the season.

Herrera offers a threat going forward as well; with a superb passing range at his disposal, and a great finish, often from outside the box, the sky is the limit for Herrera's ability and progression in a United shirt.

Despite being sent off in the 0-0 draw with Burnley, he immediately returned to the side and slotted back into his role as chief tackler, and instantly improved the performance of the side.

The passion and intensity displayed by the Spaniard combined with the energy he puts into every display makes him one of United's finest asset, finally showing why United payed £30 million for his services from Athletic Bilbao in 2014.

His performances have not gone unnoticed, as Spain called him up for the first time, and he featured during the 2-2 draw against England at Wembley.