The midfielder was also impressive in the FA Cup win over Derby last week. Van Gaal revealed that Mata is at the forefront of his thinking following his good form.
“He was participating in all the three goals so that is what I like to see,” van Gaal said.
“When he is playing how he is playing now the chance is big but every player has to prove it every week even my captain has to do that. It is for everybody always the same with me. You have to prove it every game, every training session and then you play. When he [Mata] plays like this, I cannot say to him ‘go to the bench’.”
Mata’s form had been indifferent in recent weeks and he was dropped to the substitute’s bench as a result.
The Spaniard has responded in the best possible way and he will likely line up against former side Chelsea on Sunday. Along with the likes of Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, it is good to see players hitting form at United, with those such as Ander Herrera and Memphis Depay waiting in the wings.