Juan Mata
Mata can step up in van Persie's absence, says Scholes.Reuters

Manchester United great Paul Scholes believes Juan Mata can step up in his favoured position through the middle and help fill the void left by the injured Robin van Persie.

Van Persie was stretchered off in the 91st minute last Wednesday in the Champions League last 16 tie against Olympiakos after scoring a hat-trick that hauled his side in the quarter finals.

While manager David Moyes initially said the injury was "not serious" further scans revealed the former Arsenal skipper will be out for up to six weeks with a sprained knee, a set-back that could effectively end his season.

In a reshuffled attacking line up, Mata was given the chance play in his favoured position through the middle of United's attack against West Ham on Saturday and flourished as his side secured a comfortable 2-0 win.

And Scholes, who hung up his boots at the end of last season, believes the Spaniard's new found freedom will help United cope without their top scorer.

"I think as a collective, a group of players, you have to contribute to scoring goals. Although Robin went a long way to help us win the league last year. But you still need players around him to create chance," Scholes told Goal.com.

"We still have plenty of goals in the team with Wayne Rooney and I think now is a great chance for Juan Mata to play in his favoured position."

After lifting his side into the quarter finals, van Persie will now miss both games against holders Bayern Munich. With Mata ineligible for Champions League matches, United will have to look elsewhere for inspiration but Scholes hopes the contribution of both Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez will be enough to help his former club overcome the Bavarian giants.

"Danny Welbeck is looking strong after an injury, he's come up in the last couple of games, he's got goals in him as well," he added.

"We've got people on the bench like Chicharito, who is capable to come on and score goals. The truth is there's plenty of goals in the team and hopefully there's enough to get us through the Champions League games [against Bayern Munich] and have a good finish to the season."