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Juan Mata: I enjoyed playing as a second striker

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United star Juan Mata has admitted to enjoying his new role as a second striker, pointing to his previous experience in that position.

The playmaker has seen himself play just in behind Alexis Sanchez but with the two working off of each other rather than one creating for the other.

Mata has typically played as a right-winger during his time with United, often expected to come in from the flank to the middle to dictate play.

The Spaniard though has seen himself being tested out in a new position during the club’s pre-season after Jose Mourinho switched formations.

The Red Devils are having a bit of a crisis in terms of first team players that are missing and as such the Portuguese has switched to a 3-5-2 shape.

According to Manchester Evening News, Juan said: “Yes it is a different shape, I think the manager is trying to fit all the first team players into the first eleven.

“I think it is a shape which is difficult to play against. I used to play as a striker as a kid in the Real Madrid academy, and I enjoyed it, it was fun.

“It has been some years since I played in there, but I am trying to do all of the movement and trying to score.”

Despite featuring as a striker, Mata has enjoyed a rather successful pre-season so far, getting plenty of minutes under his belt ahead of a crucial campaign.

Reports earlier emerged the attacking midfielder would be handed a new contract after the Red Devils’ tour but only in order to avoid losing him for free.

It appears Juan’s future at the club will never not be up in the air.

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