Mata was in fine form for United .

Louis van Gaal explains why Juan Mata has to play at the moment

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed why he can't drop Spanish playmaker Juan Mata from the side right now. 

After the Red Devils secured an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Tuesday night, the United chief hailed Mata, insisting that he was happy to see him participate in all three goals. 

Mata, alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, produced a fine attacking performance at Old Trafford. 


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In fact, after United beat Derby County 3-1 in the FA Cup last Friday, the Red Devils have now scored six goals in their last two outings. 

And Mata, who has been handed the No.10 role recently, has had a key role to play in the club's recent on-field success. 

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Praise from LVG 

Understandably, then, Van Gaal was full of praise for the tricky Spaniard on Tuesday evening. 

“He was participating in all the three goals so that is what I like to see,” the United boss said, as per the Manchester Evening News.

“When he is playing how he is playing now the chance is big but every player has to prove it every week even my captain has to do that.

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League

“It is for everybody always the same with me. You have to prove it every game, every training session and then you play. When he (Mata) plays like this, I cannot say to him ‘go to the bench’.”

Central Mata

Mata has started to establish himself as United's No.10 again and it appears to be paying off for United.

With the former Chelsea man playing off captain Wayne Rooney, and Martial and Lingard starring down the flanks, Van Gaal's side are far more dynamic when roaming forward. 

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League

Mata and Rooney have the intelligence and class to play through the opposition while Lingard and Martial offer a great deal of pace out wide. It appears that Van Gaal has finally found the right balance.

Manchester United fans: does Mata have to stay in the No.10 role? Have your say below! 

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Juan Mata
Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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