15 August 2014 12:15
Juan Mata hopes he will be able to thrive in Manchester United’s number 10 role this season, hailing it as perfect for his style.
The Spaniard made 15 appearances for United, scoring six goals, after a £37.1million move from Premier League rivals Chelsea in January.
Often deployed in a wide role by David Moyes last term, Mata has spent much of pre-season operating in the hole behind Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney as Louis van Gaal implements a 3-4-1-2 formation at Old Trafford.
And Mata hopes a return to his natural position will bring the best out of him as United look to get among the upper echelons of the league table.
“I hope it will be perfect for me,” he told The Daily Mail.
“I feel comfortable in that position. I can play as a midfielder defensively or as a striker offensively if that’s what I have to do.
“But my mission is to assist and score. I can do that from this position and I hope I can have a great season. But more importantly it has to be a great season for the team.
“This system is difficult and it’s difficult to adapt. You have to be very fit, for example.
“You have to be focused but, if you manage to master it, you can put lots of pressure on the opponent and you can hurt them with the ball.
“I think everyone knows that Dutch football likes to play a good way, a way I like to play and watch. This manager wants passing and movement and triangles. It’s how I play my best.”
United will get the Premier League season under way in Saturday’s early kick-off game against Swansea City.