What now for Juan Mata?

By Brayden May

The appointment of Jose Mourinho as the manager of Manchester United may be music to ears of many involved but it does not prove to be good reading for Spaniard Juan Mata.

The pair have previously worked together during their time at Chelsea and before the arrival of Mourinho the attacking midfielder won back to back player of the season awards at the club.

What followed suit was Mata being frozen out of the Portuguese manager’s plans until he was ultimately then sold to Manchester United, for a then record club fee.

Before the Spanish international was sold to the Red Devils, he would only feature 11 times in the league under Mourinho during his second spell in charge at the club.

Mata fell down the pecking order at the club with Brazillian Oscar the much-preferred choice of the 53-year-old at the time.

Like many players in the current Manchester United, Mata often found himself being played out of position by previous manager Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchmen often elected to play the Spaniard on the right flank, with captain Wayne Rooney playing in his usual role of the number 10.

There is no secret that Mourinho loves a classy winger with blistering pace seen by the likes of Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo at previous clubs Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively.

Pace is something that Manchester’s number eight lacks making up for it with the ability to drift inside.

Since arriving at United back in the January transfer window back in 2014 Mata has gone on to score more goals then he did during his time at Chelsea managing to find the back of the net on 21 occasions compared to 18 whilst playing for the London club.

A reason behind Mourinho’s decision to sell the 28-year-old was his lack of defensive work, an attribute he has improved upon under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal since joining the Red Devils, with the fan favourite increasing his number of tackles per game.

The possibility of the Portuguese manager selling Mata so early on during his Old Trafford tenure, may leave a sour taste in the mouth of many United fans, but what is to happen with the Spaniard is sure to be of interest over the coming weeks and months.



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