Why Juan Mata has to be a regular starter at Manchester United
According to the Evening Standard, Manchester United chief Jose Mourinho has demanded his club to sort out new contracts for Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.
Both Juan Mata and Ander Herrera are out of contracts next summer but Mourinho wants Manchester United to offer the duo fresh terms as he understands its importance to the squad. Although Mata and Herrera are no longer regular members of United’s first XI, they are hugely popular within the club.
Herrera has featured less, especially this season, amidst some injury problems and the summer arrival of Fred but Mata proved his worth on the pitch before the international break, coming off the bench to inspire a sensational comeback victory against Newcastle United.
Mata, peripheral to Mourinho’s plans since the start of the season, gave a different variety to the United attack after coming on in the 19th minute in place of defender Eric Bailly with the home side already 2-0 down. He scored a brilliant free-kick in the 70th minute helped the Red Devils stage an unlikely comeback against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Mata was brought in at United by David Moyes in January 2014 for £37.1m and it didn’t take long for the Spaniard to become a fan favourite. He quickly found his feet at Old Trafford, catching the eye of the fans with his movement, creativity, accuracy and precision.
As time passed, Mata has found himself in and out of the team. The 30-year-old undoubtedly remains one of Mourinho’s trusted players but he isn’t a regular starter anymore for the Red Devils.
The likes of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have been chosen ahead of the diminutive Spaniard but Mata has always been a crucial player for Mourinho and his goal against Newcastle proved that.
Without any doubt, Mata is one of the best playmakers in the Premier League. He is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions across the frontline. He possesses a fantastic technique, sublime vision and quick feet that make him such a delightful player to watch.
Despite lacking the blistering pace, the Spanish international compensates with his dead-ball qualities and ability to retain possession.
Mata is neither renowned for his defensive work rate nor for bullying opposition defenders with strength, but he has the qualities on the ball which very few players in the Premier League possess. With the Spaniard in the team, United have far more control on the ball going forward and their play appears more structured.
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With massive games coming up this month, Mourinho needs to get his team selection spot on if he’s to keep his job. Mata deserves to be a regular starter for United as he has the tools to unlock stubborn defences and his experience would be vital in the upcoming games.