Juan Mata has put his difficult start to life at Manchester United behind him and is now an integral part of the squad under Louis Van Gaal.
The Spaniard was on target as United eased past Liverpool on Sunday, with his headed goal a fifth from 13 appearances this term.
And after initially struggling to adjust to life at Old Trafford after his January move from Chelsea, Mata can now play a key role in helping the club secure Champions League qualification and mount a possible title challenge.
The 26-year-old was brought to the club amid the wreckage of David Moyes' short tenure, and initially struggled to make an impact in a red shirt. Moyes was too often criticised for his failure to integrate the Spaniard into a team already boasting the likes of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, and failed to coax the same form that the Spaniard had showed during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Ryan Giggs saw fit to drop him to the substitutes bench during his own brief time at the helm, whilst the arrivals of Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera in the summer stirred talk of a possible return to Spain.
Mata's more favourable role is just behind the striker, but despite playing out of position the Spanish international has enjoyed a huge upturn in fortunes this term. He was on target as United drew with Sunderland earlier in the season, and also found the net in the Red Devils' battering of Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers in September.
His stunning strike from distance also proved the difference as Crystal Palace were edged at Old Trafford, with his excellent free-kick enough to see off a stubborn Stoke City earlier this month.
Against Liverpool he was paired alongside Marouane Fellaini in the heart of the midfield, and despite his header being blatantly offside the former Valencia man was integral in helping Van Gaal's side to a sixth consecutive league win.
If Manchester United are to secure a quick return to the Champions League they need all of their attacking starlets to hit top form.
With Radamel Falcao still appearing predominantly from the substitutes bench, and Di Maria sidelined with a hamstring injury, Mata must continue to churn out impressive performances if he is to stay at the club for the long term.
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