Why this forgotten Man United star still has a part to play

Juan Mata is still a very important player for Manchester United and any talk of him being sold is completely un-called for.

There are rumours flying around already that in January Mata will be sold or used in a potential swap deal to attract better players to the club. Since the summer splurge that saw Louis Van Gaal put together his very own dream team at Old Trafford, Mata seems to be the forgotten one.

When he signed for the Red Devils last winter from Chelsea, he was touted as the signing of the season because of his pure quality and ability. Jose Mourinho was branded an idiot for selling one of his best assets and was accused of letting his famously big ego get in the way of rational thinking when deciding to sell the Spaniard. He is one of the best players in the Premiership, he was at Chelsea and still is at Manchester United and for anyone to suggest that his days in Manchester are numbered because of the players they have brought in is too much.

Those who watched the 4-0 drubbing of QPR over the weekend will have noticed that Mata was involved heavily in the majority of the phases of attack and was linking up play between the other midfield players and the strikers superbly. His movement on and off the ball is always exceptional and it goes hand in hand with his goal scoring ability. The player brings so much to the table and is a vital ingredient for the rebuilding of the Man United squad and any future success they might have will also have a lot to do with keeping hold of him.

As a club who has perhaps struggled, when you start rebuilding a squad and buying in a lot of star players, you want to ensure that you are also keeping hold of the existing talent already at your disposal. Look at his performance over the weekend. Did he look out of place alongside the likes of Angel Di Maria and Andes Herrera? No, in fact he looked their best player and capped off his brilliant performance with a goal, and for me was the rightful man of the match winner despite the award going to Di Maria (who I do not want to take anything away from as he also had a sublime game).

Despite the fact that Mata is a star player, he seems to have been cast into the shadow of United’s latest arrivals, not on the pitch but in the media. It’s not really a surprise these days to see newspaper journalists and “ITK” twitter accounts trying to boost numbers by churning out these types of stories, you will always find a player being linked elsewhere at some stage, especially when his club have just finished splurging the cash on a load of new faces, it becomes inevitable. The story currently doing the rounds is that Mata will be used as bait in a swap deal with Roma┬áto lure Kevin Strootman to Old Trafford in January.

How can anyone take this seriously when the Spaniard has netted an impressive eight goals in the last ten games for United. This alone proves he has to stay a vital part of Louis Van Gaal’s plans for the first team. United will be reluctant to part ways with the player in January despite the rumours currently doing the rounds. Juventus would also have had him as a top transfer target because of the need to strengthen that area of the squad and Mata would be ideal as he isn’t cup tied for the Champions League as United are not in the competition this season, but other than that a move will probably be unlikely.

Van Gaal knows his players well and he knows how valuable a player he has in Juan Mata. The Dutch manager will have him pinned as a vital part of his plans to start propelling Man United back up the table again, and alongside the new signings at the club, he has a very strong squad. The evidence speaks for itself, and the Spaniard might have been overlooked by people in the media when it came to heaping praise on the team for a brilliant performance over the weekend, but that means nothing. He is staying and that is the end of the Mata!

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