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Manchester United warned against keeping one player on the bench

Manchester United have been warned about keeping playmaker Juan Mata on the bench after he shone in a rare start against Norwich City.

The Spaniard rolled back the years to put in a superb display against the Canaries as United put in a convincing performance in their 4-0 Premier League victory at Old Trafford.

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Mata set up Marcus Rashford with a superb ball, and even made Garth Crooks’ Premier League team of the week as a result.

The BBC Sport pundit was hugely impressed by Mata and suggested that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to play him more often.

“The ball for Marcus Rashford to score Manchester United’s opening goal against a soon-to-be-ravaged Norwich City was wonderful,” Crooks said.

“There are few players in the Premier League capable of delivering such a ball – but Mata is one of them.

“The former Spain playmaker looked up, saw what Rashford saw, and played a pass that rendered everyone in the ground – including the entire Norwich defence – as spectators.

“Manchester United are simply not good enough to keep a player of Mata’s quality on the bench these days. When is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going to realise that?”

Man Utd fans, however, will surely be aware that Mata hasn’t always been good enough for the club in recent years, and one good game against Norwich is unlikely to change that.

Still, there are few others in this MUFC side that offer quite what Mata does, and it may be that he deserves at least a little more time on the pitch than he’s been getting.

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