Juan Mata scored his eighth goal in the red shirt of Manchester United during an impressive 4-0 team performance against Queens Park Rangers, which saw the club pick up their first three points of the season at Old Trafford.
Those eight goals have come in the space of just ten leagues games for the club and despite not regularly setting the world alight as some fans would have expected given the fee commanded to drag him away from Chelsea, Mata’s continued goalscoring form is keeping him in the team as the competition for places hots up at Old Trafford.
After the arrivals of fellow attackers Angel Di Maria and Falcao during the summer there was a lot of speculation Mata’s place in the side would be at risk given the relationship between Louis van Gaal and Robin van Persie as well as Wayne Rooney‘s new role as captain.
Shinji Kagawa’s departure would have given the Spaniard some breathing space but it didn’t stop several national newspapers linking Mata with a January move away, particularly to Juventus.
However, Mata’s continued good scoring run has seen him score two goals already in the opening four games of United’s 2014/15 campaign and it will be difficult to drop the No.8 from the side, especially given the poor form Van Persie has shown so far this season.
Van Gaal faces a tough task of being able to fit all of United’s attacking talent into the same XI and if Mata continues to play like he did against QPR, it will give the Dutchman a selection problem – who does he leave out of the team?