‘I’m not a winger’, says United star Mata

Date published: Friday 18th September 2015 10:49

Juan Mata: Content with life in Manchester

Juan Mata: Accepts Man Utd must improve in front of goal

Juan Mata has declared he is “not a winger”, but the attacking midfielder has said he is enjoying life at Manchester United.

The former Chelsea man, who has started every Premier League game this term, has played out wide and as a No. 10 so far this season.

The 27-year-old has also seen his place come under more threat this season after the summer arrivals of Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial, but Mata has welcomed the increased competition at Old Trafford.

Mata has also admitted he would prefer to be settled in one position, but despite that, he is happy to be used where Louis van Gaal sees it best and believes his utility status has aided his development.

“It is tough but I think every player needs that competition to grow as a player,” Mata told United Review.

“You must not fall asleep and take your position for granted. The competition helps us a lot.

“Obviously I am not a winger. If you imagine an old-school winger who is trying to play one-against-one and to cross the ball.

“I try to find my spaces from the right and cut inside and in behind, and try to assist my team-mates. I really enjoy it there. I think it’s very important for us to create little triangles on the wings with myself and Matteo [Darmian] and then with the midfield.

“That’s what the manager wants and we can play inside and outside. It’s good for us to be able to create chances for the striker.

“It helps (to play in one position). You get more used to the players, you get more used to the movement of your team-mates, but I also think it’s good for me and any player to be able to play in different positions, not just on the right or left or as a no.10.

“I have played in those positions a lot in my career but I think I can play in every position offensively in the team and I think that’s good for me to grow as a player.”

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