For a time, it looked like Ander Herrera’s Manchester United career could be coming to an end. After all, the Spaniard barely featured under former boss Jose Mourinho.

But things are different with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm.

Herrera has started six of the Norwegian’s nine games in charge, tasting victory in them all. When he was rested against Burnley, United dropped their first points since mid-December.

Andreas Pereira came in for Herrera and looked like a fish out of water. The Brazilian is simply not good enough for this United side, unlike the Spaniard, who is now integral.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

If Solskjaer did not know Herrera’s importance before Tuesday’s clash, he does now.

 

United are a considerably better team with the 29-year-old in their starting line-up. His presence eases the pressure on Nemanja Matic and allows Paul Pogba to focus on what he does best.

Without Herrera, United lack the tenacity in the centre of the park; something Burnley exploited at Old Trafford.

United have plenty of players, but their strongest XI is quickly forming. Herrera – signed for £29million in 2014 (BBC) – is in it, and Solskjaer cannot afford to rest him again any time soon.