- Premier League
'Herrera not at Pogba or Kroos level'
Ander Herrera has the ability to become one of the top players at Manchester United but their £28.4 million new signing is not at the same level as Paul Pogba or Toni Kroos yet, says Nicky Butt.
New manager Louis van Gaal, who was due to take charge of his players for the first time on Wednesday, was said to have wanted Kroos, but the World Cup winner is on the verge of a move from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid.
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United turned to Herrera instead but coach Butt, who scouted him in action for Athletico Bilbao last season claims the 24 year old needs time to reach the Germans' standards after moving to Old Trafford towards the end of June.
"He [Herrera] was at the level where you just had to take note of this player because there are not many top midfielders you can get," Butt told the Manchester Evening News of the player who had to pay his own buy-out clause to secure the transfer.
"You can all talk about Pogba or Kroos but these kind of players are not easy to get. So you have to widen your net and Herrera is a bonus. He is at a level where he can play at a club like United and given a bit of time he can excel.
"I watched Ander a few times last season on scouting trips. He impressed me. He can become a star player for us. He can become a big influence on our midfield [but] you will have to be patient with him."
Kroos' quality is widely acknowledged after he became one of the most influential midfielders in the game with key displays for Bayern in their two most recent successful seasons under Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes.
Pogba, the former United player the club have also been closely linked with, has excelled, too, at Juventus, inspiring the Italians to two Serie A titles and two Italian Super Cups since leaving Old Trafford in 2012.
Herrera can expect a tough training regime to try to left him to their level under Van Gaal, who has just steered the Netherlands to third place at the World Cup.
The Dutchman has already instructed his new squad to dine with the youth side and members of the coaching team and, before United fly out to Los Angeles on Friday for their pre-season tour of the USA, is expected to confirm the futures of coaches Butt and Phil Neville shortly.