Unlike the millions of Manchester United fans around the world, Juan Mata will not be thrilled at the news that Jose Mourinho is the new club’s new boss. Mata, who was named Chelsea Player of the Year in both of the two seasons before Mourinho was re-appointed as the Chelsea manager, is likely to be thinking ‘not again!’.
Mourinho sold Mata to Man United in January 2014, mid-way through the 2013/14 season as the pair didn’t seem to get on too well, with the Spaniard left out of the side on numerous occasions. When the playmaker arrived at Old Trafford, his career wasn’t quite transformed and the ex-Valencia man has been left out of Vicente Del Bosque’s national squad for EURO 2016 this summer.
Despite the minor set-backs for Mata, there is no denying his quality and the player is one of the best in Europe in terms of his ability on the ball. Even though the pair have a rocky past, there are plenty of reasons that Mourinho should keep Mata at Old Trafford, and here are FIVE…
Manchester United were one of the most boring team’s in the league last season, hitting the net only 49 times in the league. That said, Mata is very capable of providing a scoring touch for the Red Devils and scored a couple of wonder goals throughout the season, many from long range. If Manchester United need a clinical strike or a breakthrough moment, Mata is one of the best players in the world when it comes to finishing from outside the box.
Mata is renowned for his great passing ability. His style is perhaps better suited to that of Arsenal or Tottenham with their free-flowing attacking play, but that is exactly what United lack, and Mata can provide an extra spark to the side that has been unable to break through a defence on many occasions this season and over the past few years.
When Mata is on form, it is almost impossible to get the ball off him. Mata has extremely nimble feet and keeps the ball like there is super glue on his boots. He is an extremely skilled player, and the 28-year-old is able to play on either the wing or in attacking midfield. Mata could be a real force in the United side if Mourinho keeps him.
Mata is a set piece specialist. The World Cup winner grabbed seven assists last season and is a great crosser of the ball, particularly from corners. Mata is more than capable from the penalty spot, too, and is dangerous from free-kicks around the 18-yard box free-kick, evidenced by his last minute winner against Norwich a few week ago.
When you need a performance, Mata is the man to call. The Spaniard scored in the FA Cup Final against Crystal Palace to get Manchester United back on track and netted in the EURO 2012 final against Italy. Mata has won the lot, including the World Cup, the European championship and the Champions League but is yet to get his hands on the Premier League title. Mourinho, over to you…