Gary Neville: Juan Mata still ‘high quality’ Man United player

The Man United legend singles out Juan Mata for special praise

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville emphasised Juan Mata’s continued influence on the Manchester United team following his double in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Saturday night.

The Spain international has struggled to tie down a regular starting spot in Jose Mourinho’s team this season despite Manchester United’s lack of creativity at times.

Mata, though, was named in the starting XI for the trip to the King Power Stadium as the Red Devils looked to bounce back from their surprise League Cup defeat at the hands of Championship side Bristol City.

The former Chelsea midfielder levelled the Premier League clash in the 40th minute following Jamie Vardy’s 50th Premier League goal.

Mata edged the 20-time English champions into a slender lead in the second half with a brilliant strike to leave Manchester United on the cusp of three points.

However, Leicester equalised with the last kick of the game after Marc Albrighton’s cross picked out Harry Maguire to net an injury-time leveller.

The 29-year-old has now scored three times and has also made three assists in 12 starts and three substitute appearances in the Premier League this term.

And former Manchester United defender Neville believes Mata is still a quality player for the Red Devils.

“He’s composed in all areas of the pitch but [especially] in front of goal,” Neville told Sky Sports. “He’s high quality.

“He had a good game. He was a big influence and made two really, really good finishes.”

Manchester United signed Mata in a £37.1m deal from Chelsea in January 2013.

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