Herrera, 25, has found himself on the periphery this season despite numerous impressive cameos and Van Gaal has now explained his logic behind the decision.
Citing the quality of Man United’s squad, Van Gaal made it clear how much he valued Herrera’s professionalism but said competition for places was the only thing keeping him out of the side.
“They all have a high level, so he has to improve. which
“He is a great guy and a great professional also, so that’s not the problem. His problem is that he has to compete with high-level players.
“Rooney is also the captain, so he has a privilege. The other reasons are the players who are in his positions. In this system for example – what we are playing now – that is Mata and that is Angel Di Maria. It is difficult to compete but he did already know that the moment he signed for Manchester United. When you sign at a top club like he did, he knows he has to fight, and he is fighting. I said this week that he was coming back. Some weeks he was down, but he is coming back now.”
There was always a fear that Rooney’s special privileges could lead to a situation where he was in the starting XI on name and not merit which looks to be the case at the moment given how sluggish his performances are in midfield, while Herrera sits on the bench and watches.
So far, Herrera couldn’t have done much more to force his way into Van Gaal’s plans but all he can keep doing is putting the hard work and strong performances in.