Ander Herrera
Herrera got a goal and an assist against Everton. Getty

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he could still drop Ander Herrera from his first team. Having recovered from a muscular injury, Herrera returned to the United first team on Saturday and turned in a man of the match performance as his side's beat Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park.

The 26-year-old scored his eighth Premier League goal to double United's lead before half time and laid on the assist for Wayne Rooney's third.

"I have seen a lot of individual players today who are playing very good, but that is also because the result is very good. When I have to mention one name, I have to mention Ander Herrera," van Gaal said after the match, the Manchester Evening News report.

Despite the glowing praise, the Dutchman could not promise the ex-Athletic Bilbao midfielder would remain his the first team for matches against CSKA Moscow and Manchester City this week.

"That is dependable on the game-plan on how we play and how the opponent is playing. That is why I have selected this line up today. That is dependable on the qualities of the opponent. When Herrera is playing like that it is difficult to not select him, but I can do it."

Herrera has often failed to hold down a first team role under van Gaal since his arrival at the club last summer. The Spaniard was left on the bench for the club's first four games of the season, starting just four times in all competitions but has still contributed two goals and an assist in that time.

United's victory on Saturday moved them back to within two points of league leaders Manchester City, who travel to Old Trafford for the first Manchester derby of the season on Sunday 25 October.