Man United midfielder reflects on ‘little magician’ Juan Mata’s impact

Michael Carrick hails Manchester United star Juan Mata

Michael Carrick has hailed Juan Mata’s impact at Manchester United.

The Spain international is preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of his Old Trafford move after the playmaker joined United in a then club-record £37.1m deal from Chelsea last January.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful 12 months at the Red Devils despite playing under three different managers, scoring 11 goals in 34 Premier League appearances.

And United midfielder Carrick is still impressed by Mata’s performance at the club’s Carrington training ground, underlining the diminutive star’s continued importance to Louis van Gaal’s side.

“He’s just a little magician, isn’t he? So clever and with so much ability – he’s a pleasure to watch,” Carrick told MUTV. “Playing against him over the years, I knew how good he was and we see it in training every day; some of the things he does really stand out.

“That left foot of his can open up any defence and, despite having such a slight physique, he’s a terrific player.”

Mata signed a four-year deal with United following his big-money from their bitter rivals Chelsea after he was deemed surplus to requirement by Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

The former Valencia man won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup during a two-and-a-half year stay at Stamford Bridge.

United face Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.

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