Manchester: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has asserted that the former English Premier League (EPL) champions are in need of creative players as Spain international Juan Mata is not being able to do enough on the right wing.
Juan Mata was fielded as a winger in the 1-0 FA Cup win over Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Saturday night, but was taken off in the second half as van Gaal felt that the Spanaird was not being effective enough.
"Juan Mata is playing the right side and he is doing fantastically well because he always has a big contribution for our team. But he is not a right winger in the profile we want. In spite of his profile being different, he does very well normally. Today he was less, but he is also a human being like everyone," van Gaal was quoted as saying by the British media on Sunday.
"It is like that and I have said also in the (summer) transfer period that we need creative players with speed and we don't have that too much," he added.
The 64-year-old Dutchman has splashed out £250m on new signings in his 18-month reign at Old Trafford, but has not been able to fill the gaps in the team.
Manchester United struggled to find their rhythm early in the season and are currently perched at the fifth spot on the EPL table with 33 points from 20 matches. They lie nine points behind top flight leaders Arsenal and face tough battle for a top four spot.
The right wing position is not the only sore point in the team. Although new arrival Anthony Martial has done up front, the veteran Wayne Rooney has been at his best in the withdrawn forward position.
The manager pointed out that he has been searching the transfer market for a suitable option on the wings, but has not been able to find the kind of player the team needs.
"It is like that and I have said also in the (summer) transfer period that we need creative players with speed and we don't have that too much," van Gaal said.
"But it is not so easy to purchase players who are better than Mata because even though he is in a different profile, he is a very good right winger in our way of playing," he added.