Juan Mata is a player that has endeared himself to the Premier League faithful ever since moving to Chelsea in 2011 in AVB’s reign. His debut for the club was quite memorable as he got himself on the scoresheet against Norwich City. 2 and half years at Chelsea followed, after which he was signed by Manchester United. The Chelsea manager at the time, Jose Mourinho, felt that Mata didn’t suit the kind of style he intended to play.
So it’s quite a turnaround that Mata again finds himself under Jose Mourinho. But this time around, his fortunes under Mourinho have been rather good. Although the Portuguese manager was initially hesitant to play Mata a lot, he has eventually realised that Mata is one of the most important players at Manchester United. His ability to pass the ball around and link up with his teammates has paid dividends for the team on more than one occasion this season. He is the chief creator and everyone in the team looks for Mata when they are in possession of the ball.
Mata has been in sensational form this season, having also been recalled to the Spain national team due to his good form. He has also scored several important goals this season, including the one against Arsenal at Old Trafford and the solitary goal in a 1-0 League cup win over rivals Manchester City.
When Mourinho was announced as LVG’s successor, many would have thought that Mata’s Old Trafford obituaries might have been written, but it hasn’t worked out that way as he has gone on to establish himself as the lynchpin in the United’s attacking midfield and has done extremely well alongside the likes of Pogba, Lingard and Herrera.
News that Juan Mata is in line for a new contract at United, it will excite their fans as he has been one of the standout players for them this season. Even when David Moyes first brought him in, Mata became an integral part of Manchester United. A contract extension for Mata would be a very positive sign of things to come from a United side, that weren’t expected to start December out of the top 6.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is slowly making his way into the United side and although Mata could see the Armenian as a competitor in terms of a starting berth in the United line-up, the Spaniard should welcome this as good competition. Mkhitaryan performing well would also keep Mata on his toes and grounded.
With a long season left ahead, including games in the Europa League, there might be opportunities for both players to start together and they could wreck real havoc on their day, given the team hands over the creative side of things to these two wizards, who on their day can be real gems on a football field.
At 28, Juan Mata is at the peak of his career and that is all the more reason for Manchester United to extend his contract at the soonest. There are several pacey outlets for United upfront this season in the form of Rashford, Martial and anyone else that could be brought in soon. Such players would hugely benefit from not only the experience of Mata, but also his service on the pitch. Mata is a real clean passer of the ball and his decisiveness in the final third of the pitch could be a blessing for forwards.
Nevertheless, it is important for Manchester United to give Mata a new contract, as it is something that he truly deserves. It would also be a way of rewarding the player for fine performances and it could have a rebound effect in a good way in terms of Mata wanting to repay the faith shown in him by the authorities at Old Trafford. Mourinho would also be excited to keep Mata on for a longer time, as at the second time of asking, he has managed to get the best of Juan Mata.