The Spaniard received his first call-up to the national side earlier this week after Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez picked up an injury.
Upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania present Herrera with an opportunity to impress on the international stage.
Reflecting on what has been a hectic, groundbreaking week, the 27-year-old revealed how he initially assumed De Gea was pranking him when delivering the news of his first ever call up.
“I was in Madrid, staying at a hotel in Paseo del Prado for a couple of days with my daughter and my girlfriend to enjoy the city and climate, which we missed a little bit [in England],” he said.
“David de Gea called me unexpectedly and I thought he was calling me for something else.
“He said, ‘Come over here.’ ‘Here? But where’s here?’ I replied. I didn’t realise at that moment. ‘Lopetegui told me that you will come with us.
“I thought it was a joke, and even asked him if it was.
“I packed my suitcase really quickly, and then Lopetegui called me. I took a taxi to come to the Spain training centre as soon as possible as I didn’t want him to turn to another player who could come sooner than me!”
You’d have to be a seriously cruel human being to call up your teammate and tell him that, after years of hard work, he has finally achieved his dream of playing for his country, only to then say: “Ha! Just kidding. See you at Carrington, pal.”
But on a serious note, nobody can doubt whether Herrera’s last minute call up was justified. The midfielder’s popularity in Spain has always been high, even prior to leaving Athletic Bilbao, and recent performances under Jose Mourinho have been nothing short of impeccable.
The midfielder now has a chance to impose himself on the national side – something that should have happened some time ago.