Louis van Gaal has challenged Juan Mata to keep up his impressive performances in the number 10 role if he is to stay there ahead of Andreas Pereira.
Mata has played most of the season on the right wing, but in the last two games against Derby County and Stoke City he has played as a number 10 which is his best position, and it has led to the team picking up two wins, but Van Gaal says he has to keep it up for more games.
Van Gaal on playing Mata in the number 10 role said: “I have already played Mata in the same role. Maybe you remember that” as he did have a spell earlier in the season in the role, but performed very poorly, and was moved out to the wing.
The Dutchman continued to say “I’m not changing him from that role, he has changed himself because previously he wasn’t good there” and now it’s up to the Spaniard to take the warning from his manager and show him what he is made of.
Mata has been singled out by a lot of Manchester United fans for his poor performances for large parts of this season, but when he is played in his favoured position he has the quality to produce what is required, and Van Gaal wouldn’t give anything away about whether Mata would start versus Chelsea on Sunday.
Van Gaal on if Mata would start in the number 10 role against Chelsea said: “we will have to see if he plays there on Sunday.
“Maybe I have another No.10 who is better than Mata” which seems to be a statement to keep Mata on his toes in case he thinks about slacking off during matches.
Sunday’s game against Chelsea is a massive game for United in terms of their chances of finishing in the top four, and every player will need to be playing at 100 percent, and Mata will be hoping he gets another chance to impress against his old team.