Juan Mata: ‘Donny van de Beek Understands Football In A Way That I Like’

REUTERS/Matt Dunham

Juan Mata had positive words about Donny van de Beek after Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

The Carabao Cup encounter featured goals from Mata, Scott McTominay, and Paul Pogba.

The Spaniard provided an excellent display during the fixture, with his goal and assist likely giving him two consecutive man of the match accolades in the cup.

Further, the former Chelsea man had van de Beek to thank for setting up his goal.

Mata clearly expressed the same after the game and heaped praised onto his newest teammate, stating (via Sky Sports): “He is a very clever player. I love playing with him because he finds pocket of space and he understands football in a way that I like, which is playing one-twos, passing and moving and the goal was like that.”

United supporters will be loving the football that the former Ajax player has been able to bring to their side.

Even during the Premier League win over Brighton, the few minutes that de Beek spent on the pitch ensured that United won the crucial corner that led to the dramatic post-full-time whistle penalty.

Add to that his debut goal and Wednesday’s performance and one gets a complete justification for his pricetag.

With a crowded fixture list and United’s intent to win silverware, players like Mata and van de Beek can certainly be the standout options to fulfil the task without calling on the big guns.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has time and time again been quizzed as to whether the 23-year-old can be included in a midfield set-up alongside the club’s marquee options of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

The Norwegian gaffer has replied in the affirmative on numerous occasions and has stressed that such a nexus will be fielded down the line.

It will be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur are the first side to bear witness to that combination on Sunday.