Mata can be Juan of United’s greats, says Giggs

Ryan Giggs is confident new signing Juan Mata could join him as one of Manchester United’s all-time greats.

United smashed their transfer record to bring Mata in, and, in a troubled season at to Old Trafford, the Spaniard has made a decent start.

Mata played a part in the build up to Robin van Persie’s opener on his winning debut against Cardiff and he also set up the Dutchman against Stoke — although United eventually fell to a 2-1 defeat against the Potters.

As the most decorated player in the club’s history, Giggs knows a thing or two about what it takes to be known as a United icon. And there was little hesitation in the Welshman’s reply when he was asked if Mata, 25, could become a United great.

“I think he could be,” the midfielder said. “He’s obviously got the talent. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him but I don’t see why not.”

Although the United squad of 2013-14 does not compare favourably with the one that brought Giggs so much success in the 1990s, one current player certainly holds lofty ambitions.

Adnan Januzaj only turns 19 today, but has already outlined his ambition to become the club’s best player.

“I am quite pleased with my year, I have done a lot of work and have been integrating into the first team,” said Januzaj, who is regarded as one of the club’s brightest prospects in years.

“I think there is more to come.”

Meanwhile former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish says United cannot be written off in the race for the top four but believes his old club are in pole position to secure Champions League qualification.

The defending champions trail Liverpool by seven points.

“Liverpool are in fourth spot right now and someone has to come and take it off them because they are not going to give it up,” he said.

“They have all the big teams apart from United to come to Anfield and as the team immediately below them found out last week, they are pretty awesome at Anfield (Liverpool beat Everton 4-0).

“United have been one of the top-four teams for a long time and although they have not run their race yet, it is very difficult for them.”

Liverpool will join United and Man City at a grand pre-season tournament in the US, though United and Liverpool may have to pull his team out if they are forced to go through two Europa League qualifying rounds.

The other sides involved in the Guinness International Champions Cup are Inter, AC Milan, Roma, Olympiacos and Real Madrid.


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