Mata backs De Gea to bounce back with Man Utd

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
De Gea has been training with Spain this week
De Gea has been training with Spain this week

Juan Mata has backed David De Gea to bounce back from the disappointment of the collapse of his move to Real Madrid and re-establish himself as a key player with Manchester United this season.

De Gea seemed certain to join Real Madrid in the final hours of the Spanish transfer window on Monday, but the paperwork was not sent through in time for the deal to be ratified.

Now he is set to kick-start his United career alongside Mata, after it was confirmed he has been named in Louis van Gaal's squad for the Champions League group stages.

"He seems the same as ever to me, calm and relaxed," said Mata as he spoke about De Gea ahead of Spain's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovakia.

"It's been a manic few days for him, he's my friend and I'm there for him for whatever he needs. Right now he's focused on the two upcoming games for the national team; being here will do him good and he's going to be as professional as he has been throughout his career.

"His personality will help him. He manages to play even better in moments of maximum pressure and stress. His personality will help him on and off the pitch.

"His hunger and professionalism are intact. We all know what a great goalkeeper he is and he would make any team in the world better. The fans will get behind him and so will the team."

Meanwhile, United new-boy Anthony Martial has offered his first thoughts following his £36m deadline day move to Old Trafford.

Despite the lofty price tag around the neck of this 19-year-old, many observers have yet to see this French starlet in action and it seems that even Van Gaal is keen to find out more information about his new No.9.

"He (Van Gaal) asked me my preferred position," Martial said at a press conference ahead of France's clash with Portugal on Friday.

"I prefer to play in the centre but he told me I could play in a number of positions - it is the coach who decides but whatever position I play, I will do the best I can.

"Since I was young people have told me I have the right characteristics to play in England and I'm really keen to develop my game in the English (Premier League)."

Having scored 15 goals in 70 appearances for Monaco, Martial insists he is not concerning himself with his record-breaking price tag.

"I don't know if I'm worth €80m but I don't worry about the sums," he said.

"I'm going there for the football side of things, the price is between the two clubs and I don't see myself under any pressure."


Goalkeepers: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone

Defenders: Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Shaw, Varela, McNair, Darmian

Midfielders: Carrick, Blind, Young, Herrera, Powell, Valencia, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Lingard, Pereira, Mata

Forwards: Depay, Martial, Rooney, Wilson