Juan Mata is already being linked with an exit from Manchester United. Joel Amorim analyzes why offloading the Spaniard would be a grave mistake on the part the Red Devils.
With the January transfer window just around the corner, the media have already started to speculate on the future of some of Manchester United’s players and the fact that the name of Juan Mata was one of the first to pop up didn’t come as a surprise.
According to recent reports from both the Spanish and English media, the talented Burgos-born playmaker, might leave the Red Devils already in January to join the UEFA Europa League holders, Sevilla.
The media are claiming that United might be willing to release Mata for just £20 million after having spent more than £30 million back in January to seal his move from Chelsea.
Although all this might seems somewhat absurd and a fairly poor financial approach, the truth is that the hypothetical departure of Mata could open the door for AS Roma’s Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, someone that Louis Van Gaal would certainly want to have in his team’s ranks.
Last week, Juan Mata expressed his admiration for Southampton’s manager, Ronald Koeman, online, since it was him who offered him the possibility of making a stand at Valencia some years ago, and those statements have allegedly annoyed his current boss, Louis Van Gaal, who does not have a particularly good relationship with his fellow countryman.
The talented Spanish playmaker has recently found some space at United’s starting line-up and managed to put up some fairly interesting performances on the matches he took part in.
Mata’s playmaking skills offered United’s midfield line an extra dose of creativity and, at the same time, he acted as the perfect link between the team’s intermediate and forward lines.
In a team with a considerably large creativity deficit, Juan Mata’s vision and passing skills were a breath of fresh hair and clearly offered the Red Devils that extra something the team lacked, even when Di Maria wasn’t injured and assumed the playmaking role in United’s midfield line.
No matter how good his recent performances were, the most likely thing to happen is Juan Mata to return to his bench warming condition as soon as the Argentinean star recovers from injury, which will probably happen already next weekend, when the Red Devils meet Liverpool.
Mata arrived at English football by the hands of André Villas-Boas, when the manager left FC Porto to join Chelsea back in 2011, and although he was a key player for the Portuguese manager’s strategy, he was relegated to the bench as soon as José Mourinho took the helm of the team last season.
The way I see things, the current Juan Mata is still miles away from that young talented boy that conquered the hearts of Valencia’s supporters almost seven years ago, but, and even though he is currently, by far the best, playmaker United have in their ranks, Mata should be given more time to show his real qualities.