Football

Manchester United's Juan Mata used to be a striker

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Juan Mata has revealed he used to be a striker and enjoyed a fruitful spell up front before eventually becoming the renowned playmaker football fans know and love today.

The diminutive Spaniard has played a number of positions since becoming a professional star, flourishing as a left-winger for Valencia, later adapting his game to become an advanced midfielder for Chelsea and is now prospering on the right-wing for United.

Arriving at Old Trafford in a £37.1m deal in January 2014, Mata quickly found his preferred No.10 position occupied by club captain Wayne Rooney. As a result, the 27-year-old has been used by both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal in various roles.

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But he has finally found his place in the team, albeit in another adopted position on the right. With five assists and four goals in all competitions, the World Cup winner is widely considered to be one of Manchester United's top performing stars this season.

Mata insists, unsurprisingly, that he is enjoying life in his new position but also admits there is no better feeling in football than scoring goals.

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Looking for goals

Mata told MUTV: "I used to be a striker, then I played as a No.10, then at Valencia I was a left winger and at Chelsea I was in midfield.

"I am very happy with where I'm playing right now. It doesn't matter where you play, you have to try to help the team. But obviously the best feeling in football is to score goals.

"I remember when I was 10 or 11 years old scoring a lot of goals, it was a great feeling to be a striker. I moved to Madrid, then to Valencia and then to England - everything went so quickly. I feel very lucky to be a professional footballer."

Clinical finisher

And the stats prove Mata isn't lying. A tweet from stat-crunchers Squawka, today claimed that since joining Manchester United, Mata has a higher chance conversion rate than any other Premier League player with ten or more goals.

Here is that claim:

So, should Juan Mata be given the chance to shine up front? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Juan Mata
Football

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