Football

Juan Mata scores sensational goal during training on US tour

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Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata scored a superb goal in training on Thursday, ahead of the Red Devils’ first pre-season fixture against Club America, but Phil Jones won’t want to see it again.

The technically-gifted Spaniard dummied to shoot before flicking the ball between his legs, bamboozling Jones in the process, and sending a right-footed shot past David de Gea.

The footage was published by Manchester United’s official Twitter account on Friday morning - and you can watch it by scrolling down this page.

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Mata’s position in Louis van Gaal’s starting line-up is uncertain once again following several big-money signings.

The arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin has significantly increased competition for places in midfield, while the right-wing position - where Mata performed well on occasions during the second half of last season - will be occupied by Memphis Depay next term.

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United fans not impressed by Jones' defending

But Mata, 27, has given Van Gaal some food for thought ahead of the team’s first pre-season fixture with this wonderful individual effort in training.

While United fans were delighted with Mata’s goal, though, they were less impressed with Jones’ unconvincing defending.

Just take a look at some of these replies on Twitter.




Jones signed a new four-year contract last month, to the surprise of some fans who feel the 23-year-old has failed to progress over the past few seasons. This was the player who Sir Alex Ferguson famously claimed had the potential to become the best player in Manchester United’s history.

That Van Gaal has renewed Jones’ contract suggests the England international start the 2015-16 season in central defence alongside Chris Smalling, although he’ll need to impress in the fixtures against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Van Gaal must find room for Juan Mata

Van Gaal must find room in his starting line-up for Mata, who scored 10 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils last term, including a memorable brace against Liverpool at Anfield.

The Spaniard, who David Moyes brought to Old Trafford from Chelsea in January 2014, is one of the most intelligent footballers in the Red Devils’ ranks.

While his link-up play, with Ander Herrera in particular, was outstanding at times last season.

However, because of the return of European football, Manchester United will have enough fixtures over the course of the season for all of their key players to get plenty of minutes on the pitch.

It was, of course, a different story last season.

Manchester United fans: will Juan Mata start for the Red Devils in the biggest matches next season? If so, where will he play? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!

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Topics:
Manchester United
Phil Jones
Premier League
Juan Mata
Football

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