After scoring two goals against Aston Villa at the weekend, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera was described as a genius by teammate Juan Mata. The last midfield genius at Old Trafford was of course Paul Scholes. Opta-powered fantasy football game www.oulala.com took a closer look at the stats to see if United have finally unearthed Old Trafford’s new Scholesy.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has described winger Philippe Coutinho as a player of the season contender, but despite playing nine games fewer, Herrera has scored one more goal than the Brazilian. The Spaniard has also enjoyed a superior shot accuracy to Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (36% to 35%).

The 25-year-old has provided one more assist than Manchester City star David Silva even though he has six appearances less than his fellow Spaniard. Herrera has enjoyed a better pass completion than Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson (89% to 81%), putting him 3% above Manchester United’s overall team average of 86%.

The midfielder has also made more successful passes per game than Chelsea’s Oscar (46.5 to 40.9).

Herrera has contributed well defensively too winning more tackles per game than Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (1.47 to 1.33), winning a higher percentage of duels than Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho (50% to 45%) and has made more interceptions per game than Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva (1.79 to 1.67).

Ander Herrera has made a big impact in his debut Premier League season and could be the midfielder that Manchester United have been crying out for since Paul Scholes retired in 2013. Watch this space…