Juan Mata backs Manchester United player to become world-class

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Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has backed youngster James Garner to become a world-class midfielder for the club.

The Spaniard has praised the United academy player for his attitude when he’s without the ball.

When asked about James Garner, who is currently on loan with Watford, Juan Mata told the official Man United website: “He is a good friend, that’s why he speaks so well of me!

“I always thought he is one of the players who, if he keeps going and keeps improving, in the way he was doing in the Academy, he can be a very, very good midfielder.

“I really like him; the way he plays on the ball, his cleverness, his way of looking forward, looking for a pass and also his attitude off the ball. So, whenever he was here, I always tried to encourage him and said what I believed he could be as a player.”

Mata went on to add: “I always tried to motivate him and give him confidence as I think, when you’re that age, you need confidence and trust – not only from the manager but also from your team-mates.

“I wish him all the best at Watford and I am sure he will do well. He’s a great guy and a very good player, as I’ve said before, because he keeps improving every day.”

Garner, 19, has been impressive for the Hornets since joining them on loan.