Manchester United legend Gary Neville asserted the importance of Juan Mata in the current Red Devils line up and praised the midfielder for his unnoted contributions to the team.
Several speculated the future of Mata once Mourinho took over the reigns from former manager Louis Van Gaal. The Spaniard, however, proved his worth at Old Trafford with his experience and intelligence on the field. Despite not being high on the charts in terms of goals and assists, Mata has been a vital cog for the Red Devils this season.
Mata justified the manager’s decision to start him in the crucial fixture against rivals Liverpool as the 29-year-old put on yet another consistent performance which got lost amidst the heroics of Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young.
Neville feels Mata’s role crucial in determining Red Devils’ position at the end of the season
The former Red Devils skipper stated that the Spaniard is the glue that holds the entire Manchester United attack which has considerably improved from last year. He said:
“It looks like you’ve got [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, [Romelu] Lukaku but they haven’t got that glue that just knits it together. Mata looks like he might become a very important player.
The defender further went on to highlight Mata’s role in the team by mentioning that the Spaniard allows the attack to be one-on-one which as brought them success as of late. He stated:
“They need to be one-on-one. You see with Rashford [against Liverpool], [Alexis] Sanchez, Lukaku. Get them one-on-one around the edge of the box, they are probably as good as you are going to get.”
Neville finally praised the former Chelsea midfielder by lauding his performance against Liverpool, and went on to mention that the performance of Mata on the right flank went unnoticed. He concluded:
“I thought he changed the game, many people said Rashford did. But I thought Mata played equally as big a role and today he’s done well off the right-hand side.”
It is not even slightly debatable that Mata has done a great job for the Red Devils this season, which is why the side decided to extend the contract of the midfielder for another year. The experience, intelligence and the style of play really benefits Manchester United and Neville could not be more right with his insight on the Spaniard.