Ander Herrera admits he is relishing the extra freedom granted to him by Jose Mourinho at Manchester United this season.
Former Athletic Bilbao midfielder Herrera endured a mixed two years at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal, failing to hold down a regular spot in the starting XI and being used in numerous different roles.
However, the 27-year-old has caught the eye this term and earned his first call up to Spain’s senior squad.
Herrera has been converted into a holding midfielder following the arrival of Mourinho as manager, but is still allowed to occasionally roam forward.
“Mourinho encourages me to do it,” Herrera told El Correo. “I scored recently in the cup and I have hit the post [against Northampton] from long-range too.
“Mourinho gives you more freedom as a player; he wants the player’s instinct to come through. It’s true that you then have to have that defensive order but he tells us to let that if that instinct guides us on the pitch then we should try things.”
And Herrera is now determined to stay in the Spain squad, having last played international football with the under-23 team at the 2012 Olympics.
“It’s been difficult to get back because this is the fifth season since the Olympics,” he added. “I’m overjoyed because I have fought hard for it. I know that in the two years under Van Gaal I was not in the United team enough to be called up.
“Now with Mourinho I’m feeling good. He is putting faith in me and giving me that chance to play regularly in a top side. Now I have to show that I deserve to stay in the United XI and deserve to keep getting the call to join the Spain squad.”