Ander Herrera has revealed he has been given a “new role” in the Manchester United side in order to help bring out the best in world-record signing Paul Pogba.
The Spanish midfielder has emerged as one of the first names on the United team sheet in recent weeks, with the club having lost just once of the eight Premier League games the player has started in.
His fine form for United has seen him rewarded with an international cal-up with Spain and he is expected to be rewarded with his first senior cap in Tuesday’s friendly with England.
Pogba’s performances for United and the role of his midfield partner come under scrutiny in this week’s Monday Verdict and speaking of his role, Herrera told The Guardian: “I’m here because Mourinho’s given me the chance to take a new role.
“It’s more defensive: hold my position, don’t lose the ball, win it, bring it out fluidly, that ‘rest defence’. I’m enjoying it. I’m there for others.”
The 27-year-old added that his more reserved position is designed to allow Pogba more freedom in midfield.
The pair have started five matches together in the Premier League, recording one win, three draws and a defeat, while scoring five goals and conceding six.
However, performances such as those in the 4-1 victory over Leicester have given hope that Herrera is the perfect foil for the world’s most expensive player.
“Paul’s an offensive player; he needs freedom and the team needs him to have that,” Herrera said. “He can score 10 a season. With his strength, the way he hits the ball with both feet, his ability in the air, you have to make the most of that.”
Writing about Pogba performance for France in this week’s Monday Verdict, our Rob Conlon said:
‘Pogba impressed for France on Friday playing alongside Blaise Matuidi in a 4-2-3-1, with Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko operating behind Olivier Giroud; a role in which his performances attracted criticism at the start of the campaign. It was argued the position stunted his best abilities, and yet his display for France suggested otherwise.
‘Pogba saw plenty of the ball for Les Bleus and was able to keep things ticking over in possession. While he had to be mindful of his defensive duties, on numerous occasions he was also able to break forward and find himself in good shooting opportunities.’
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