Neville: This Man United midfielder is Mourinho’s fireman

Ander Herrera is putting out fires in the Manchester United side, according to Phil Neville

Phil Neville has hailed Ander Herrera as Jose Mourinho’s “fireman” in the Manchester United side.

The Spain international has been ever-present in the Red Devils team since Mourinho took over the reins from Louis van Gaal in the summer.

Herrera has been playing alongside world-record signing Paul Pogba and experienced England international Michael Carrick in Mourinho’s midfield in recent weeks.

The former Athletic Bilbao man was at his tenacious best during Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a first-half winner to seal three points for the 20-time English champions at the weekend, but it was Herrera’s performance that caught Neville’s attention.

The former England and Manchester United defender explained why Herrera is so important to Red Devils boss Mourinho ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

“They look strong at the back and they have got a fantastic balance in midfield with players who can win the ball and use it,” Neville told BBC Sport.

“A big part of that is Ander Herrera, who has been absolutely outstanding. He does not have the flair or Pogba or the class of Carrick but having him in the team makes both of them better.

“Herrera is the type that you don’t know the true value of until you play or work with him because, from the outside, it may not appear that he scores or makes enough goals, or plays the killer passes.

“But I would describe him as United’s fireman because he is always exactly where he is needed on the pitch.

“He set up United’s winner against Tottenham but, quietly and efficiently, he did a lot more than that. He covered more ground than any other player, made the most interceptions and tackles and, if you look at his touch map, then he touched the ball in every area of the pitch.”

Herrera has made two assists in 12 Premier League appearances in the 2016-17 season.

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The Red Devils are in sixth place in the Premier League table and six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City.

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