By 90Min
September 30, 2017

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has lost his place to summer signing Nemanja Matic this season, despite being voted Player of the Year by fans in 2016/17, but is actively embracing the Serb's impact rather than complain about the lessened game time it has yielded.

Former Chelsea star Matic has been the automatic pick for manager Jose Mourinho as the holding midfielder alongside Paul Pogba, leaving Herrera to sit and watch from the bench in the opening weeks of the season as the United boss named attacking line-ups.

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Even after Pogba suffered an injury, Herrera has only started once in the Premier League. He is expected to play more in the coming weeks, though, and this opportunity is what the mature Spaniard has been patiently waiting for.

"There will be a lot of games this season, so we will sometimes play with two and sometimes with three, so we have a lot of solutions," Herrera is quoted as saying this week.

"Matic is a master, one of the best in the world in that position, and I think he is going to help us a lot. With (Michael) Carrick and Matic I have two mentors that I can learn from," he added.

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

What Herrera offers is something different. He is arguably the most versatile central midfielder United have, playing in three quite different roles during his three years with the club.

"I know I can play more forward than [Matic and Carrick], when we play with three, so I will be there for the manager whenever he needs me," he said. "Sometimes as number six, sometimes as number eight, sometimes No. 10."

With Carrick and Pogba out of Saturday's game with Crystal Palace, Herrera is likely to get the 'number eight' role as United look to extend their strong start to the Premier League season.

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