Manchester United new man Ander Herrera is the missing link in the Old Trafford first team, according to ex-forward Andy Cole.

Herrera, who joined from Athletic Bilbao for a rumoured £29m this summer, impressed on his debut for the 20-time English champions as they defeated LA Galaxy 7-0 in the first game of their United States pre-season tour.

And Cole believes the Spanish international fills a vital creative gap in the United midfield and expects him to be a pivotal figure during the new campaign.

Herrera looked a real good player yesterday and the kind of player that Manchester United have been missing," Cole told Sky Sports News Radio. "A midfield player who has been getting behind, creating chances.

"He's a good passer of the football, he likes to keep it ticking over as we say."

As United got their pre-season tour off to a winning start ahead of the games against AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Herrera played a leading role.

Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young all scored twice, while Danny Welbeck also struck as United secured an emphatic win in Louis van Gaal's first game in charge, but Herrera stole the show.

"It was a dream for me to play in the red shirt – I will keep this shirt with me always. I hope this is the start of a lot of games for United," he told United's official website.

"It wasn't only me in this game though, I think the whole team enjoyed the game and did well. It's the first match and we have done good things. It's a good step and we're very happy."

"The manager said to us afterwards that he was pleased with the game and a good performance but he wants us to keep improving. We have to keep working hard," he added. "7-0 is a great score but it's a friendly game. It's important for us to start with a win like this and it will help us keep improving."