Juan Mata goes into tonight’s game against Southampton as one of Manchester United’s most in-form players.
With four goals in his last five shots on target, Mata has been an instrumental figure in United’s excellent run of form which has seen them win four consecutive games.
As well as his goalscoring threat, Mata has been very influential all over the pitch. Alongside Ander Herrera in midfield, the Spanish duo have brought some real fluidity to United’s football and a measure of control which has lacked at points during this season.
It’s not all been plain sailing for Mata since his arrival last January in a £37m move from Chelsea. Last season he had purple patches and tepid times in equal measure much like he has had this year. Fans were disappointed when Mata didn’t capitalise on the opportunity he gained following Wayne Rooney‘s suspension that gave him a run of consecutive appearances.
However, he has really started to deliver in the last few games and has rightfully earned himself a place in Louis van Gaal‘s starting XI. With Mata and Herrera on form together as well as Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini in a foursome, United’s midfield is looking as strong as it has under Van Gaal..
Tonight, United face a real test away to Southampton. They have only conceded four goals at home this season and, despite coming into the game off the back of two losses, will be confident of getting a result, so Mata will need to be on-form to help United break down their stubborn defence.