Following a promising start to the season, United are currently going through a bit of a slump and it looks very likely that manager Jose Mourinho will look to make major changes in the coming weeks in order to turn his side's fortunes around.
A number of fringe players could be handed a chance to impress during the next few matches and former United boss Atkinson believes that Mourinho should think about giving Spanish midfielder Herrera a proper run in the starting XI.
"I think he's the one who sometimes – not only this year, last year or the year before - he carries the can a little bit," Atkinson told Kick Off on talkSPORT.
"He'd be one of my first choices
"[He has] great energy, [a] great attitude, [he] competes. He came on in the [Manchester] City derby when they were completely outclassed in the first half and was a big factor in the way the game changed. He won a lot of balls; he got around people's feet, busied people.
"It's ever so easy picking someone else's team, but he'd be one of my starting players – I'd play him quite a lot."