Juan Mata merks Phil Jones during Manchester United pre-season tour

Spaniard aware he needs to impress with influx of new arrivals

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The Independent Football

Juan Mata appears to have upped his game ahead of the new Premier League season, but in showing off his skills on Manchester United's pre-season tour, he managed to highlight the shortcomings of one his team-mates.

The Spain international knows he will have a battle on his hands next season to retain his place in the side following the arrival of three new players who could occupy midfield positions. Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay could all hamper his chances of a starting berth under Louis van Gaal.

But Mata will be difficult to drop based on his pre-season training displays. Manchester United are currently in Seattle preparing to take on Club America this weekend and the Spaniard is looking sprightly. The video below shows him embarrassing Phil Jones, wrong footing the defender before burying the ball in the back of the net.


Van Gaal confirmed earlier this week that his players must fight for their positions.

"The players have to fight," warned the Dutchman, who is with his squad on their pre-season tour of the United States.

“Schneiderlin has to fight with Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick and Daley Blind.

“These are the players who can play in the centre of midfield.

“Darmian has to fight with Antonio Valencia for the right-back role.

“He knows that, but Valencia knows that also.

“Carrick knows it also, because at the end of the season I have told him.”


United also have pre-season matches against San Jose Earthquakes, Barcelona and PSG before beginning their Premier League campaign against Tottenham.

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