Juan Mata opened his goalscoring account for Manchester United with a smart finish against Aston Villa at the weekend and you could see what it meant to him.
The Spaniard had come under some criticism from those outside of the club for not immediately getting on the score sheet in his time at Manchester United but now that the first has gone in, the floodgates could open.
Speaking about the goal, Mata endeared himself to United fans further by once again thanking United’s continued, unwavering support.
I will always remember this day… Thanks for your support! Siempre recordaré este día… Gracias por vuestro apoyo! pic.twitter.com/iOlnt0Rs9O
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) March 29, 2014
David de Gea was just as happy about his fellow Spaniard scoring his first Manchester United goal as well and sent his own congratulations to him.
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) March 29, 2014
De Gea and Mata’s close relationship has no doubt helped Mata settle down at United but getting this first goal was a massive hurdle for Mata to get over. Now that has been achieved, hopefully we’ll see a glut of goals from him.
Mata has clearly had an impact on the rest of United’s players too and Darren Fletcher was effusive in his praise about the Spaniard.
“He’s a fantastic player and is a great lad in the dressing room,” he told Manutd.com.
“He’s come here and settled in at the club; we’re pleased to have him here. He’s been desperate for that goal and he’s glad it’s come now. Hopefully he can kick on and get a few more towards the end of the season.”
Mata may not have hit the headlines straight away at United but he is improving in almost every game so by the time he is firing on all cylinders, we should see why he was worth the £37 million we paid for him.