Juan Mata believes Manchester United youngster James Garner has the ability to become a very good midfielder.
The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Watford in the Championship and has so far made 11 appearances.
Garner also broke into the United first team last season, making six appearances – with many coming in the Europa League.
His career appears to be going in the right direction and Mata is someone who is excited about the teenager.
Garner has played with the veteran midfielder before and was full of praise.
“I’ve played with some top, top players. I have to say Juan Mata is class," said Garner."
“Everything about him – his touch, his pass, how he speaks to you on and off the pitch – he’s just a real nice guy.”
Mata has now repaid the favour and made a promising prediction.
"He is a good friend, that’s why he speaks so well of me," Mata told ManUtd.com.
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"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.
"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,” added Mata. “He’s a great guy and a very good player, as I’ve said before, because he keeps improving every day."
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