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Mata reveals his key role inside the Man Utd dressing room

16:39 GMT+3 23/03/2020
Juan Mata Odion Ighalo Manchester United
The Spain international is one of the more experienced players in the Red Devils squad and has earned respect from coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed the key role he plays inside the Old Trafford dressing room in welcoming both new arrivals and young players into the first-team squad.

The Spain international is one of the older members of the United squad, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having looked to bring in younger players he can mould during United's current rebuild.

And Mata, 31, has revealed Solskjaer values his contribution off the pitch as well as on it.

“I feel young, honestly, in my body and mind. But obviously I have being playing in a club, and in English football and professionally for 12, 13 years now. So that gives me experience, especially in difficult situations, to behave in a certain way or give advice to the young players,” Mata told The Official Manchester United Podcast.

"I think he (Solskjaer) values that also."

“Me as a player, what I can give on the pitch, but also that I will try my best off the pitch for the new players that come, like right now Bruno [Fernandes] and Odion [Igahlo] and for the youngsters that come through the academy like Brandon [Williams], Chongy [Tahith Chong], Angel [Gomes] and Jimmy [Garner].”

During his spell in the Premier League with both Chelsea and United, Mata has won everything available to him in English football – aside from the Premier League.

And the attacking midfielder joked he would carry on playing into his fifties in order to be able to add a Premier League medal to his trophy cabinet.

“David de Gea always tells me when he arrived here, I think they lost the Premier League by one point in the first season but in the second season they won. He told me it was incredible,” Mata recalled.

“And everything was red and it was just unbelievable. I’m counting the days to be able to do that. I would love to win it and of course I want to win it before I finish playing.

“Maybe I will play until my 50s if needed, but if I don’t win it, it’s alright also. You know I’m not really obsessed about it, it would be very nice to have won almost everything.”