Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata is optimistic that David de Gea will be warmly welcomed back by manager Louis van Gaal on his return to the club.
The 24-year-old goalkeeper has been on international duty with Spain along with his Old Trafford team-mate after his transfer deadline-day move to Real Madrid broke down in dramatic fashion.
De Gea is yet to play for United this season having been left out by Van Gaal when speculation surrounding a potential switch to Madrid dominated the agenda for much of the past few months and it has not yet been confirmed whether he will reclaim his place as number one for the Premier League game against Liverpool on Saturday.
Mata, though, is sure the shot stopper will receive a positive reaction from his manager as well as the club’s supporters, meaning De Gea will not have to spend a whole season in the stands.
“I do not think there will be any problem with his return from the club, the coach or the fans,” said the 27-year-old.
“That is what I perceive. The fans love him very much, in the club he is highly regarded and that is the same for the coach. I think we will all remain the same.
“Over these days I have spoken a lot with him. Although they have been hectic and stressful days, he is such a quiet person who is level-headed. Nothing changes and he will remain the great goalkeeper he was.
“In the last two years David has been the best player in the team and his saves have given us many points. I have no doubt that this year will also be very good for him.”
Mata was involved in his side’s fortunate winning goal as Spain followed up their weekend win over Slovakia by edging to a 1-0 win over Macedonia in Euro 2016 qualification on Tuesday, and the former Chelsea star admitted it had not been a vintage performance from Vicente del Bosque’s men.
“We have tried to create chances, but the match was not brilliant for us,” he said.
“Macedonia have not had a good qualifying campaign, but we knew before they were going to tighten up their team.
“It was not the prettiest game but we did our homework. We have achieved six points in the two games and that brings us closer to reaching France.”