Manchester United midfielder, Ander Herrera has stated he was not surprised to see Van Gaal sacked.
Herrera was signed by Van Gaal, and has made over 70 appearances for the club, but will have to impress incoming manager, Jose Mourinho, who took over from the Dutchman.
According to Herrera, the players were aware of the speculation surrounding Van Gaal in his final months on the job, as they finished fifth following a difficult campaign, but Herrera has praised the way his former manager conducted himself.
“It wasn’t a comfortable time, but we are professionals, and so we didn’t allow it to distract us,” Herrera told Marca.
“I must say that the coach remained strong throughout. He never showed signs of surrender and, in the end, we won the FA Cup.
“Van Gaal is an honest guy and has always put Manchester United above all else.”
He added: “Nothing surprises you in football today.
“United have to fight for every title and, when they lose that fight, this is one of the outcomes.
“In many ways I think he has done a good job.
“I’m grateful to him because he signed me and so gave me the opportunity to play more than 70 games, in two years, at arguably the world’s largest club.”
Herrera is now looking forward to the challenge of impressing Mourinho, who has signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford.
“I’ve had great coaches: Marcelino, with whom I made my debut; [Javier] Aguirre, [Marcelo] Bielsa [and Ernesto] Valverde; who taught me how to handle the locker room and is a fantastic guy,” Herrera said.
“Then came Van Gaal and ‘Mou’ now, who is the most successful coach, alongside Pep Guardiola.
“He has won the league in four countries, the Champions League with Inter and Porto and led Chelsea to become champions twice.
“So for me this is a unique opportunity that will push me to the maximum.”