Mata reveals that De Gea helped him settle at Manchester United

The 24-year-old goalkeeper had a vital role to play in Mata and Herrera's settling in period at the club.

David De Gea's performances for Manchester United have been phenomenal this season, but Juan Mata, speaking to BBC Football Focus, has revealed that the Spanish goalkeeper hasn't just been an influential figure on the pitch, he has also played a part in helping other Spanish players settle in at the club.

Mata outlined the role De Gea played in making him feel welcome at Old Trafford when he first arrived last January, with the 26-year-old stating he was pretty much the only player he, and then Andre Herrera when he joined this summer, knew.

"David was very important," Mata said. "He was almost the only one I knew coming to the club. I get the feeling that Ander [Herrera] had the same feeling as well."

Unsurprisingly, Mata went on to say that he wished his Spanish compatriot would remain at the club, stating that he was one of the world's best goalkeepers.

The former Chelsea midfielder was familiar with De Gea from his time in the full national team, while Ander Herrera had spent several years in the same youth levels as the goalkeeper.

De Gea made an uncharacteristic mistake during the 3-1 win over Aston Villa, letting Christian Benteke's shot beat him despite it being straight at him. The Villa goal came just after Wayne Rooney's second, and made for a nervy final few minutes at Old Trafford until Ander Herrera netted his second goal of the game late on to restore the two-goal cushion.

Despite that lapse, De Gea is widely regarded as the one of the outstanding performers of the Premier League season this year, with many fans attributing the fact United are as high as they are to the former Atletico Madrid man's performances.

Having played every minute of Van Gaal's debut league campaign, in front of an every changing, depleted defence no less, it is easy to see why United players, as well as fans, are eager for him to extend his contract beyond 2016.

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