Juan Mata has played as a midfielder, but since the start of the new season, the 29-year-old has been used by Manchester United mainly as a right winger.
Before playing for Chelsea and Manchester United, the midfielder has played confidently as a striker for Valencia. Now, Jose Mourinho has given him the right-wing position with Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing centrally.
Mata acknowledges with his new position; he also has the licence to drift inside, given United’s natural width at right back.
When asked how he defines his role for Mourinho he said: “Let’s say offensive midfielder.”
“But, obviously, I am playing more now on the right-wing, when I try to come inside and create space for my team-mates, and with the overlaps of Matteo [Darmian], Antonio [Valencia] or Ashley [Young], it makes things easier for me.
“And you know, it’s this kind of freedom that allows me to be in touch with the ball, that’s where I feel comfortable. As much time as I have the ball, I feel better and I feel that my game grows and that’s what I try to do.
“I consider myself as this kind of attacking midfielder, trying to find the gaps between the opposition midfielders and defenders and produce what the team needs between the lines.”
Mata had already made his first goal this season when he played against Crystal Palace last month, but he still has to register an assist.