Ander Herrera
Herrera received the Manchester United player of the month award in February.Getty Images

Manchester United star Ander Herrera says he never had any doubts about his long-term future at Old Trafford despite enduring a difficult start to life in the Premier League.

Having being a target for David Moyes in summer 2013, the Spaniard became Louis van Gaal's first signing one year later after United agreed to meet the €36m (£26m, $39m) release clause imposed by Athletic Bilbao.

The Spaniard had an impressive start to the season, scoring two goals and providing one assist in his three first Premier League appearances, to become a favourite with the supporters.

However little by little Herrera surprisingly fell out of favour with the manager, who opted to use striker Wayne Rooney instead in his role.

But after barely play during December and January, the Spaniard seized a late cameo opportunity during the 3-0 FA Cup victory over Cambridge on 3 February to prove his worth to van Gaal.

He was rewarded with the club's Player of the Month award in February and during the 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Sunday 22 March put in another impressive shift and provided the opener to Juan Mata with a wonderful assist.

Herrera now views his future at Old Trafford with optimism. When asked during an interview with El Pais about those moments on the bench, he said: "I am at Manchester United, the second club with more income in the world, a club that are continue looking for new talent.

"And everything takes time because the players have our strikes, our moments. Now I am playing more but when I did not I always had in my head that I came to United to play for at least five years, not just months."

Herrera was aware he needed to adapt his Spanish style to van Gaal's demands, revealing that earlier in the season the Dutch boss rebuked him in order to correct his game, urging him to be in the right place waiting for the ball rather than chasing it all around the ground.

When asked about his relationship with the manager, Herrera added: "I think he is a good guy, with a character that at first can be shocking but always with good intentions. He likes the discipline and does not believe in egos. He believes all the player are equal under his orders.

"And he told me what he wants from me. He loves the possession and does not like to put the ball at risk. He wants long possessions because he believes that to create spaces you need to be in the right place, because the team have the quality to find you. In fact, at first he rebuked me because I tried to go to find the ball, because I always wanted to have it."