Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has received his first call from Spain after new coach Julen Lopetegui has included the Red Devils star in his squad for his side's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania.
The 27-year-old has been impressive for the Red Devils and has been partnering Paul Pogba in the centre of the pitch for the Premier League giants. His fine display for Jose Mourinho's side has seen him called for the national side in place of Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez, who was forced to withdraw from the squad.
In addition to this, Bayern's Thiago Alcantara and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez are also struggling with injuries. A statement on the Spanish football association's official website read, "Herrera has been called up on Monday afternoon and will join the team in their training camp ahead of the official qualifier games for the Russia 2018 World Cup, against Italy and Albania."
Herrera scored his first goal of the campaign in United's 3-1 victory over Northampton Town in the EFL Cup. Mourinho has been impressed with the Spaniard's display and the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager suggested the midfielder is an important player in his squad.
"He can be an important player for us because we play with four attacking players, plus Paul, who likes a lot to go to different positions to try and create," Mourinho explained, as quoted by United's official website.
"But we need a player like Ander because he is very fast on the defensive transition and he can give us the security we need, especially against fast counterattacks."