Pundit: Man United star has proved us all wrong, he’s fantastic

Danny Higginbotham heaps praise on Juan Mata following his good form for Manchester United under Jose Mourinho

juan mata
Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata Photo: The Sport Review

Danny Higginbotham has heaped praise on Juan Mata for his good form under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The Spanish playmaker arrived at Manchester United from Chelsea in January 2014 when David Moyes was in charge at Old Trafford and he has established himself as a key player for the Red Devils.

Many had predicted that Mata may struggle to hold down a first-team spot at Old Trafford after Jose Mourinho was appointed as the club’s new manager back in May 2016, because it was the Portuguese coach who opted to sell the 29-year-old to Manchester United when he was still in charge at Chelsea.

However, the midfielder has been a regular fixture in the first team at Manchester United and has proved his doubters wrong by keeping a place in Mourinho’s side.

And former defender Higginbotham admits that he has been very impressed by how Mata has been performing since Mourinho took over at Manchester United last year.

Speaking on Sky Sports News on Friday morning, Higginbotham said: “He’s a fantastic player.

“I know we said that he might not play [when Mourinho arrived] but he’s so good in the intricate spaces, where there is no space.

“He’s just got such good vision and a football brain.

“People say there are players with pace and without pace – but he’s got two or three yards [of pace] in his head with how he can pick a pass in such a congested area.”

Mata will be hoping to feature for Manchester United when the Red Devils return to Champions League action on Wednesday night with a trip to Portugal to take on Benfica.

The Red Devils have won both of their opening Champions League games with victories over Basel and CSKA Moscow.

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