Ander Herrera
Herrera has started the last eight matches for Manchester United after an indifferent start to the season.Getty Images

Ander Herrera has further endeared himself to Manchester United supporters following his excellent display against Aston Villa by revealing that he wants to stay at the club for several years.

The 25-year-old has not always been a guaranteed starter since his high-profile move from Athletic Bilbao in June 2014, yet has risen to the challenge in recent weeks and notched a brace in the 3-1 win against Tim Sherwood's struggling side last time out.

Herrera also laid on an assist for fellow Spaniard Juan Mata during the victory over rivals Liverpool last month and those two have been at the heart of Manchester United's recent improvement that has seen them rise to third in the Premier League after taking maximum points from five consecutive matches.

"I'm very happy," Herrera told United review as featured by the club's official website.

"Even when I was not playing, I was also happy. I am at Manchester United. I feel really lucky to be here. The manager has to decide who is playing or not but we have to respect always the decision he makes. The manager wants the best for the team, the best for us and we have to follow him always."

Fans seem to be quite taken by Herrera and the potential for a long and fruitful partnership between him and the formerly underused Mata.

Taken roots

Luckily for them, it appears Herrera intends to become part of the furniture at Old Trafford and help restore the club's fearsome reputation after a decline in standards following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

He added: "When I signed for Manchester United, I was thinking of players like Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Rafael da Silva and, although he is not here now, Darren Fletcher.

"These are people who have been playing for a long time for United. It's my dream to be here for a long time because I am in the right team, in the right league and in the right country. I feel very happy and I want to stay at the club for many years to come."

Manchester United's key objective under Louis van Gaal was to return to the Champions League and they now look likely to do just that having opened up an eight-point lead over Liverpool.

Indeed, such a positive run has even led the usually cautious Dutchman to refuse to rule out his team's chances of mounting a late title challenge.

While that prospect seems rather unlikely, it is certainly possible that United can go on and finish ahead of rivals Manchester City for the first time since 2012/13.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, now fourth, face a potentially tricky trip to in-form Crystal Palace next before contesting the Manchester derby on 12 April.