Mata: I want to be Van Gaal's perfect No. 10

The Spaniard is looking forward to working under the Dutchman and is eager to thrive in the new 3-4-1-2 formation at Old Trafford.
Juan Mata believes he can thrive in Manchester United's No. 10 role this season under new boss Louis van Gaal.

The Spaniard made 15 appearances for United, scoring six goals, after a 46 million euro move from Premier League rival Chelsea in January.

Often deployed in a wide role by David Moyes last season, Mata has spent much of preseason operating in the hole behind two forwards as Van Gaal implements a 3-4-1-2 formation at Old Trafford.

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And Mata hopes a return to his natural position will bring the best out of him as United looks to get among the upper echelons of the league table following a disappointing seventh-place finish in 2013-14.

"I hope it will be perfect for me," he told the Daily Mail. "I feel comfortable in that position. I can play as a midfielder defensively or as a striker offensively if that's what I have to do. But my mission is to assist and score. I can do that from this position and I hope I can have a great season. But more importantly it has to be a great season for the team.

"This system is difficult and it's difficult to adapt. You have to be very fit, for example. You have to be focused but, if you manage to master it, you can put lots of pressure on the opponent and you can hurt them with the ball. I think everyone knows that Dutch football likes to play a good way, a way I like to play and watch. This manager wants passing and movement and triangles. It's how I play my best."

United will get the Premier League season underway in Saturday's early kickoff against Swansea City.