'Positive surprise' - What Bruno Fernandes has told Juan Mata about three Man Utd stars

The former Manchester United midfielder remains a keen follower of goings on at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata can sense the feeling of excitement surrounding Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund after speaking regularly with Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes.

Mata has been in regular contact with his former United teammate since leaving the club in 2022 and was already aware of Garnacho by that point, having played alongside him before Erik ten Hag's arrival. The Argentinian has been a key pillar of the club's promising young talents in recent months alongside Mainoo and Hojlund.

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Since making his Premier League debut at Everton in November, Mainoo has become one of United's most influential players at just 18-years-old, while £72million summer signing Rasmus Hojlund has burst into life after a stuttering start to life in Manchester. The trio have breathed new life into the club and Mata is excited to see what the future holds.

“I know Alejandro [Garnacho], we played together and I know how good he is," Mata told AS. "I think he is showing great maturity, mentality and consistency in many games. He is emerging as an important player, which is something I am very happy about. 

"I didn't know [Kobbie] Mainoo when he was in the youth team, but he is a very positive surprise. He seems like a very good player. Rasmus [Hojlund] is a different situation, since they paid a significant sum of money for him and he had some pressure at the beginning, but once he scored the first goal he hasn't stopped doing it. He seems like a very strong forward, with a lot of confidence.

"I talk a lot with Bruno [Fernandes], he is a great friend of mine and we talk a lot about the games, training sessions... Everything. I wish you the best. They have a great generation of young players, with a mix of players like Bruno, who can give them a lot of experience, so hopefully it works.”

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Mata was at United during some of the club's toughest years in recent memory, joining midway through the first season after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement and failing to win a Premier League title in eight-and-a-half-years. The 35-year-old remains a keen follower of the club and admits there is new-found optimism, following confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment.

"I hope it goes great," the Spaniard added of Ratcliffe's arrival. "I have a lot of appreciation for the club after my time there, for Manchester and the people there, for the club's workers. These last few years have not been the best in terms of performances and dynamics, so I hope this is a truly positive change, which returns the club to where it deserves to be, which is fighting for the big titles. A club with the history and heritage of Manchester United should always be at the top of football, so I hope it will be again.”

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