When Jose Mourinho arrived at Manchester United, it seemed like the end for Juan Mata. Mourinho was the manager at Chelsea when Mata was forced out the club, and most everyone assumed history would repeat itself. Several La Liga teams expressed interested, and it seemed the former club record signing would be out the door. However, in the first Premier League game in the season, Mourinho gave Mata the start against Bournemouth. The decision paid off as Mata grabbed the opener in a 3-1 victory. From that point on, Mata became an integral part of the United team, finishing the season as the clubs fourth top goal scorer. With all of the attackers United are linked with, there is a risk that Mata may become surplus to requirements. Jose must make sure Mata does not leave the club.
Everyone knows that Mourinho loves a versatile player. His Champions League winning teams from Inter and Porto were full of players that could do a lot when needed. Every squad needs someone who can cover many positions across the pitch, and Mata is that type of guy at United. He is a star when played as an attacking midfielder, but Mourinho’s favourite formations do not usually allow for such a player. He has usually been played at one of the wide midfield positions, and usually did a splendid job when asked to. He isn’t the best defender, but tracked back enough to support the defence. Mata allows United to play other attackers like Mkhitaryan and Martial to play in their natural positions. He is a selfless player, willing to have his own personal stats to take a hit for the betterment of the team. This also makes him a wonderful player to have in the dressing room. He has no ego, which prevents any sort of problems that can derail a team. He seems like a genuine and nice guy. His experience also helps the youngsters like Rashford and Martial learn from him, and better their own game.
Mata also might have been the best United player in big games this past season. It started with a winning goal in the Manchester Derby when the two teams faced off in the EFL cup. He also scored in a crucial league match vs Arsenal when both teams were fighting for top 4. Before the Europa League final, fans were debating on who Mourinho should start in the biggest game of the season. In the pregame conference, Mourinho explained why he started Mata over other options like Martial or Lingard. He told reporters that he needed Matas “footballing brain”. Mata had already won the competition with Chelsea, and knew what he had to do to win it again. He played a big part in the victory, as his interception lead to the opening goal. His knowledge tactically helped United hold on to the lead, and win the clubs first Europa League.
With all the transfer rumours surrounding United, Mourinho must not forget about Juan Mata. He continues to produce when given the chance, especially in the biggest games of the season. Fans adore the player, and he has showed the same levels of love in return. He must stay at the club, and continue to produce trophies and memories. And if he leaves, what’ll happen to his blogs? According to this sportsbook, Juan Mata has a high chance of helping United win their 21st English Championship.