Manchester United Football Club confirmed the appointment of Jose Mourinho over a month ago now, and since that day, many thought Juan Mata would be the first casualty. However, at this point, the lovable Spaniard is still at the club.
It doesn’t look like the 28-year-old is going anywhere anytime soon either. Today, some interesting quotes direct from Mourinho himself have emerged, and it looks as though Juan Mata will be staying at the Theatre of Dreams for as long as he so chooses.
“I think since the first day, everything is clear between us,” Mourinho said. “There is space for him.”
“He is a talented player but I don’t promise places to anyone. I promise respect and I like him.
“So if he wants to stay and I think he wants – until this moment I don’t have one little sign that he wanted to leave so I think he wants to stay — then yes, there is space for him and yes, I think he can be useful to the club.”
This must be a massive confidence booster for the attacking midfielder, who probably thought his days were numbered here. It’s now up to Mata to perform on the field and fight for his place in the side. That won’t be easy, though, especially with the addition of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in that area of the field.
Hopefully, Mata gets his chances on the rest of pre-season tour, and takes those opportunities with both hands so he is firmly in Mourinho’s thinking when the big kick-off comes next month.