Ander Herrera is so keen not to miss a game, he will play wherever Jose Mourinho tells him – even in goal.
There is talk of him being a future captain of the Old Trafford giants, having displayed not only great form but the can-do attitude he believes is vital for any player who wants to survive at the club.
Herrera knew he was going to have an opportunity for something big the minute Mourinho took over last summer.
He recalled: “The manager had a conversation and he told me I was going to be an important player if I do what he wanted me to do. I am always open to learning. I am always open to adapting myself to a new role and a new position.
“It is not so easy to play for Manchester United, for example, as a No. 10.
“When you play for a big club, a No. 10 has to score 10 or 15 goals and make 10 or 15 assists, so it’s not so easy. So I say to myself, if I want to play every game for Manchester United, which is my dream, I have to do something else for the club and for the manager.
“I think we have a good understanding between the manager and myself. We understand football the same way and we think the same; if you give everything, you are going to give things to the team. I can play at No. 6, No. 8 or No. 10. I have been asked a few times about it and I always say I don’t have a preference because sometimes you perform better as a No. 6, sometimes it’s better to be No. 8 and sometimes it’s better to be No. 10.
“I just try to give solutions to the manager. He knows I can play at 6, 8 or 10. Even No. 2 — that I did against Everton at home.
“And if one day he wants me to play as a keeper, I will try my best. I think that’s the right attitude and it’s the attitude every Manchester United player has to have.”
Herrera is feeling the effects of a punishing season that will culminate in Stockholm on Wednesday in United’s 64th game.
“It’s very hard overall,” he told ESPN FC. “Premier League games are never easy. I think the manager has said as well, in other countries the big teams can rotate players and keep winning. In England, that’s not possible.
“It’s not possible because, in my opinion, it is the best organisation in the world. Every team is capable of winning every game against every opponent. The timing could have been better. I have played a few games Thursday and then Sunday, and when you are doing the warming up you feel that you are still in recovery.”
But that has not dulled Herrera’s desire to make sure United are all smiles when it comes to the prize-giving in Stockholm.
He added: “It’s a European trophy this club has never won. We can make history for the club, so that’s the only thing I have in my mind. I always respect the opponent because they want to make history, as well. But I don’t have anything else in my mind apart from winning the final and trying to get the trophy for this club.
“I’m happy, but the season is not finished yet. We can really make a great season, but it is all about Wednesday. I’m happy with my performance, but I’m never happy enough, because I think if you are too happy you can get relaxed, and that feeling is not good. You have to keep playing and keep focused on the next step, and the next step is the final.”
As for taking over the armband one day, Herrera says it would be an honour but that there is competition.
“I am very thankful when I hear that from the fans, but as we say in Spain, they are massive words,” he said. “The captains of this club are legends. The current one is Wayne Rooney but also Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Nemanja Vidic. It is a list of amazing players and legends of the club.
“I prefer to keep calm and to keep my mind calm because I feel that I still have to do more for the club. I still have to win things for the club to deserve that.
“We also have some experienced players on the team, who have been here longer, like Chris Smalling, David De Gea, also Juan Mata came before me.”