Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has backed Spain teammates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera to regain their starting spots under manager Louis van Gaal.
Signed from Chelsea last winter for a then-club-record £37.1 million fee, Mata has been in and out of Van Gaal’s line-up so far this season, and started on bench for the club’s last two games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace, respectively.
Herrera, meanwhile, became the Dutchman’s first addition of the summer after a £29 million switch move from Athletic Bilbao, but a combination of injuries and unconvincing outings has seen him restricted to the role of an unused substitute over the past three matches.
Asked about the £66.1 million pair in a recent interview with Spanish newspaper AS, De Gea didn’t want to question Van Gaal’s team selection, but did back his compatriots to go on to earn significant minutes, adding that United are a team still experimenting with a new coach.
"It is the manager's decision but they are great players,” he said.
"Mata scored a goal in the last game [against Palace] to give us the victory. I am sure they will eventually manage to get a lot of minutes.
"We are in a difficult situation and the manager has opted to introduce other players. But with the talent they have I am sure they will eventually be in the line-up".
With United facing Arsenal on the weekend in their first match after the international break, it remains to be seen whether either Mata or Herrera will be back in the starting XI, although De Gea remains in contention despite dislocating his finger in training with Spain last week.