Ander Herrera, the last man standing of Louis van Gaal’s signings?

One of the issues Manchester United supporters have had with former manager Louis van Gaal were the unstudied signings in the transfer market or the targets he missed. Leaving behind those players that he himself bought and sold, like Angel Di Maria who turned out to be a mercenary and used United as the bridge to achieve his real goal; his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, let’s have a look at the players that were bought by the Dutchman and the way they have been treated by Jose Mourinho.

Luke Shaw

Two or three years ago considered as one of England’s best young talents, Luke Shaw is simply not finding the way in Mourinho’s Starting XI as the player is yet getting disturbed by that injury that saw his leg broken. Everyone at United was happy to see him back, but the problem doesn’t seem to be gone, as in the games he has started he hasn’t been comfortable as the opposition has given him a hard time. Media reports that there have been issues between the player and the manager as well and it has been two games in the row where the manager has declared all his players fit but no sign of Shaw in the team sheet. Fitness remains an issue for him as everyone knows that he is talented and he was doing really well until he suffered the injury.

Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian

It’s somehow unsurprising that the issues United are currently having is in the left down side where Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian are not convincing the manager. The Dutch international is surely an important player up front as he has been key in the wings, but his defensive skills are often put in question and this is a big problem for the Portuguese manager. That’s why Blind hasn’t been a regular starter. It’s the contrary with Darmian as the Italian is a good defender but can’t help a lot in the wings.

In difficult situations, he struggles, and the problem is that his cross delivery is weak and he is not quick enough to go upfront. When he was first signed Louis van Gaal had big plans for him as he was going to be the key player of the defence of three, but the results weren’t satisfying so his good start soon left the place to poor performances that caused United a lot of issues.



Marcos Rojo

Another Louis van Gaal signing is Marcos Rojo who has surprised everyone with his performances. He picked an injury two weeks ago and hasn’t started regularly since then, but thing is that the Argentine is one of the most improved players under Jose Mourinho. Many would agree that Rojo would be favourite to leave the team soon but Mourinho insisted on playing him and his decision has been justified by Rojo who himself has gained a lot of fans recently and on the other side making it hard for Smalling to have his status back as irreplaceable in United’s starting XI but he surely needs to work more.

Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin

The biggest question of Van Gaal’s transfer market is without a doubt the midfield. This month, two signings made by the Dutch, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay left the club in permanent deals at Everton and Lyon respectively. Midfield balance is key for a Jose Mourinho side and Morgan were left clueless of what he had to do as his average performances didn’t convince Mourinho to keep him.

Memphis, for sure won’t be missed as he never seemed to work hard to earn a place in the team. It’s true that the player faced tough competition for a place in the team but he didn’t even bother to try. We all wish him good luck, but point is that he never lived up the expectations we had on him. Despite the Dutch relation, we can’t blame Louis Van Gaal for going for him. When part of PSV the player would score stunning goals from free kicks or amaze with his style. His big boy attitude was the biggest problem and he wasted his talent because of the behaviour.



Sergio Romero

The second choice at Sampdoria, Sergio Romero was one of those signings that was hard to understand why it was made in the first place. With the De Gea situation, Romero thought that he finally found the right moment to become the first choice. That blessed fax machine turned the situation round and in the end, he remains second choice to De Gea. The love towards the club it’s impressive as based on reports he has refused an offer in his home country even risking his place in the national team to remain a United player.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Favouritism has always been a big problem for Louis van Gaal wherever he has gone and Bastian Schweinsteiger was the chosen one. He was signed when he was still injured and the midfield general always benefited from this and it caused problems among United players who questioned the manager’s decision from time to time leaving Jose without any option but to drop him from the team. This has served him a lot as his patience has paid off and he is now getting his place in the team eventually.

Anthony Martial

However, a worry is Anthony Martial’s situation who was dropped against Stoke City where the necessity of a player of his calibre was obvious. It’s the manager that has questioned Martial’s efforts in training and this has involved them in a big argument. He hasn’t played much and the French international has indeed pulled good performances but his efforts are satisfying the manager which means that we soon may have news on the situation between the two.



Ander Herrera

Hardworking, captain material, the only player who has made the grade Jose Mourinho’s team is Ander Herrera. Louis van Gaal never used him right and the player was incredibly frustrated why the philosophy the manager was imposing on him wasn’t working. Then the new manager was telling him that Louis van Gaal’s philosophy stuck in his mind wouldn’t be good enough to have a place in the team. Confusing, right? Well, we all know how stubborn he is and when we all thought that the player was on his way out things changed. Herrera was now Mourinho’s choice for Paul Pogba’s midfield partner and along with Michael Carrick, they have become irreplaceable. Here are the reason why:

Stubborn enough to get what he wants Herrera was patient enough to wait for his chance. Mourinho’s style of play fits him perfectly, he is aggressive and the tackles he makes are important to keep the opponent out of United’s half. He has even shone when he played in the number 10 role confirming what most of the fans have been confident about, his vital role in the team.

He never lets you down and he is similar to former United player Roy Keane in his behaviour but looks as innocent as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A fans favourite, everyone cannot get enough of Ander Herrera, he is all over the place and always up for something. When you think that Louis van Gaal refused to play him and now Ander is an important part of the team just shows how much of a difference six months can make. That’s the attitude for a player that really wants to play for Manchester United. Whether Van Gaal wanted him or not that’s a different matter but the most important thing is that the player is indeed one of Jose Mourinho’s main man.

Written by Fabiola Cejku


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