The case of Ander Herrera for a new contract at Manchester United was strengthened during 90 minutes when he was not even in the field.
The Spanish midfielder remained at rest for 2-2 with Burnley at Old Trafford, watching from the bench as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's unbeaten record remained intact in the most dramatic circumstances. But his substitute Andreas Pereira endured a terrible night, seeing the game go by before it was taken over by Burnley.
As was missed by Herrera. In Leicester the twenty-nine was back on the bench and Pereira was nowhere to be seen. Burnley's mistake of the Brazilian showed how important Herrera is again in the United midfield, forming a reliable trident with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.
Nowhere is the gap between the first choice and the most pronounced back-up in this team united with respect to the center of midfield. Pereira and Scott McTominay both have a long way to go to make the vote, while the £ 50 million spent on Fred seems more and more a waste with every hour he passes on the field, having fluffed his two departures under Solskjaer so far.
The fights of those in reserve have made the presence of Herrera, Matic and Pogba more important. That trio may not be the long-term response to United midfield if they want to recover the Premier League title, but they are undoubtedly the solution at the moment.
Herrera has not hidden his desire to stay and believes that he will get his reward through field performances, a subject that is hard to resist at the moment.
"If I deserve it, I'll take it," he said of a new contract after his victory in Leicester City.
It seems that his reward is approaching now.
At one point, the new manager and director of United football will look for updates in midfield. There is a strong argument to say that United needs a placeholder, someone who integrates the steel and aggression of Herrera or Matic and the skills that Pogba is now demonstrating in a role more advanced.
Allied to that, they also need better options in reserve at the center of the field, especially if Fred fails to produce that kind of skill that convinced United to spend a lot on him last summer.
There are many areas of the United team that need improvement this summer, which is why they can not afford to lose players who are more than capable of playing a specific role.
Herrera can do just that and was pleased with his form under Solskjaer. But above all he is also a team man. He accepted his role on the bench against Burnley and will accept him again if necessary. United's midfield could get an upgrade in the next 18 months, but Herrera could remain an ideal man to have in reserve at that point.
"I feel very good at the moment, I feel fit, I can run a lot and recover the ball and I feel good when I'm at my feet," he said last weekend.
"But I've always said the same thing, if one day the manager decides to abandon me I'll be ready to help the team for 10 minutes, for two minutes, this is the only way a team can succeed".