Juan Mata
Van Gaal benched Juan Mata during the West Ham victory. Reuters

Juan Mata has lavished praise on Manchester United prodigy Patrick 'Paddy' Mcnair after the young centre-back made an impressive first-team debut during the 2-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday, 27 September.

With Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones all injured, and Tyler Blackett suspended, manager Louis van Gaal handed the 19-year-old his debut at the hearth of the defence alongside new signing Marcos Rojo.

Having only made his debut for the Under 21 side in February, the youngsters proved his worth, preventing West Ham striker Enner Valencia from scoring.

"It was also unforgettable for Paddy McNair. Making a debut with Manchester United in Old Trafford being just 19 is amazing, and I am sure he will always remember this day," the Spaniard said in his official website.

"It's good for the young players to see that they can fit in the first team. It has always happened in this club and it's a good tradition to keep. In my opinion, Paddy has a bright future ahead."

Meanwhile, the Spaniard has also congratulated his compatriot David de Gea, after the goalkeeper reached his 100th Premier League appearance since his 2011 move to United from Atletico Madrid.

"It was a special day for David de Gea. He is one of the most skilled goalkeepers I've ever seen so I know you will play many more than 100, my friend," Mata said.

Meanwhile, Mata expressed his delighted about securing the second victory of the season, even though van Gaal benched him again to accommodate Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, and new signing Rafamel Falcao up-front.

"As I wrote last week, the team was ready to work hard and keep going in order to overcome our tough start. That sacrifice was shown against West Ham and the three points make us look at the table in a different way now.

"Once again, the support of Old Trafford was a big help. Our goal now is to become more consistent and to keep working on our football style to add more points. The more we enjoy on the pitch, the more we will make you enjoy our games. The team aims to keep growing throughout the entire season and we are sticking together to achieve that,"

We are already thinking about the match against Everton next Sunday. Last season we couldn't win, but I believe it will be different this time and we will be able to get the three points in our stadium."