Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is hoping his goals can help ease the pressure on Wayne Rooney next season.
The midfielder is entering his second full season at Old Trafford and is hoping to emulate his personal success of the last campaign, where he scored 10.
The Spaniard has always been able to find the back of the net, having scored a fair amount of goals for Chelsea and Valencia, and he is hoping his tally this season can take the pressure of Wayne Rooney, who Van Gaal has challenged to emulate the success of a rival striker.
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Speaking on the club's tour of the US, as reported by the Mirror, Mata said: “I always try to score, I've always done that. I used to play as a striker when I was a kid and every team I played for I had a good goals record and it’s the same at United.
“This season I will aim again to score a good number and to help the team with assists and goals. “I had a 21-goal season at Chelsea and another with Valencia when I scored 14, so I've always been lucky enough to score a good number for a midfielder.
“I always try to score more than 10 goals in a season. I've nearly always done that and I think that’s a good number for a midfielder. Last season I tried to score as many as I could and it’s always a big part of my game. I will try again to be in and around the box and score again.”
Following his £37.1 million move from Chelsea in January 2014, Mata has settled into life in Manchester well.
He scored six goals in 14 games during half a season under David Moyes and notched ten over the last campaign, including a stunning double in a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Liverpool, that really endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful.
If he was able to hit double figures again it would go a long way to helping Rooney, who is expected to shoulder the main goalscoring burden, following the departures of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao.
Rooney is confident in his ability to score goals next season, but will need help from his United team-mates if they are to mount a serious title challenge in Van Gaal's second campaign.
The Spanish playmaker believes the current squad of players assembled at Old Trafford is capable of doing exactly that. He said: “We've signed some very good players. We have a good mix now of young players and experienced ones. So we have a very well-balanced squad.
“Maybe there are a few more coming, I don't know, but I'm sure it will be big enough and good enough to face all of the competitions."
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