Manchester United star Ander Herrera has declared he has been training hard in order to reach the fitness levels needed to play wherever Louis van Gaal wants him against Liverpool on 12 September. The Spaniard has been mainly featuring in a number 10 role this season, but with Michael Carrick's availability in doubt Herrera has offered to play the number 6 or 8 position as well.
The 26 year old played in the middle of the park for most of his first season at Old Trafford. But following the arrivals of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin over the summer, it seems Van Gaal may use him in a more advanced role – especially with the loan departure of Adnaj Januzaj to Borussia Dortmund.
Herrera is happy to play behind the striker if needed, having fulfilled that role a number of times at Athletic Bilbao. But with Carrick a doubt for the game against Liverpool, Herrera has mentioned playing in a holding role for Van Gaal as well.
"I am ready to play if the manager wants me to play against Liverpool. I've trained very well and I keep improving my fitness. I like to give chances to the manager to put me in both [defensive and attacking] positions. Last season, I played most of the time as a number 8, more of a holding role, but, now, I have the chance to play as a number 10," Herrera said to MUTV. "Sometimes it is better to play as a number 6 or number 8 if the other team is waiting for you because you can have more touches. But if you play against teams like Liverpool, who want to beat us and want to attack, it's maybe better to do it as a number 10.
Carrick pulled out of the England squad to face Switzerland after suffering a calf injury during the warm-up in San Marino. Roy Hodgson claimed that the decision was just a "precaution" and that the injury was not serious, but it is still uncertain whether he will be available for selection. Van Gaal may opt to deploy Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin in the middle, but Herrera is ready for the challenge.
"You never know in football but what I have to do is keep helping the team. If I can score, it's very good for me and for the team also", he said. "If I cannot do it, I have to help assist, keep the ball and try to create chances. So I believe in myself and my qualities. I think I can do a good job in the number 10, number 8 or number 6 role."
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho will miss the game after receiving a red card during the 3-0 defeat to West Ham United just before the international break. Herrera admits the Brazilian is Liverpool's best player and believes that United have a good chance to secure the three points.
"It's true their best player, Coutinho, cannot play but we cannot think about it. We have to think about ourselves. If we play well, and we are at our best, we will have a lot of chances to beat them," he said. "I think it's good for us that we had the experience of last season when we beat them. I think we were much better than them in both games but they are Liverpool and they are a good team with very good players."