Juan Mata must play behind Wayne Rooney

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Football News

Manchester United have arguably two of the best No.10s in Europe. Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata are both wonderful footballers who possess the ability to light up any stadium in world football. 

There is a feeling, however, that these two should not be play together. How do you fit two No.10s in the same team? Well, as it stands, under the Louis van Gaal regime, neither Rooney or Mata are playing off the striker at Old Trafford. 

And it's something that is costing Manchester United. Two glorious footballers, but two frustrated figures.

The wrong roles 

Rooney is the leader of the team, but he's paying for it; he's been summoned to a midfield role, which takes away his greatest attributes. Mata, on the other hand, can't even make the starting XI. There's something not quite right about it all. 

Louis van Gaal has two players who can not just score goals but create them too, but he seems determined to stick with the likes of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. 

How do you play Rooney and Mata in the same team? Simple: play Mata behind Rooney. Yes, as already stated, Rooney is magnificent as a No.10, but he's also a fantastic striker. He's capable of being the main-man; he's a natural goalscorer and should be leading the line. 

Rooney in attack 

There's no doubt about it, Rooney is a better striker than he is a midfielder. He will, despite his new role under Van Gaal, become Manchester United's all-time record goalscorer, so he certainly knows where the net is. 

And with Mata playing behind him, he will only score more goals. On the pitch, Rooney and Mata are intelligent, dynamic and class: they're a match made in heaven, but need their chance to shine in a new system. 


Playing the two of them would free up a space in midfield. Van Gaal should look no further than Mata's fellow Spaniard Ander Herrera. The man signed form Athletic would slot into the midfield perfectly alongside Dutchman Daley Blind or the ageing Michael Carrick.

Van Gaal could then play two out-and-out wingers, with the quartet of Adnan Januzaj, Angel di Maria, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia fighting it out for the two spots.

All of a sudden, United would have a far more balanced side, wouldn't they? Manchester United's football, despite the positive results, is dire, so things need to change immediately. 

Playing Rooney and Mata in the attacking third, with Herrera in the side too will only improve the Red Devils. Van Gaal must now act. 

Manchester United fans: Do you agree with this? Should Mata play off Rooney? Have your say in the comments section below!

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Premier League
Juan Mata
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United

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