Everyone loves them some Juan Mata. The gracefulness and class with which he performs on the field is matched equally by his brilliance and integrity off it.
The superstar Spaniard is amongst Manchester United’s most liked players. We’re talking about a man who has a unique skill-set. His ability to pick out a pass is a rare gift. However, perhaps it’s time to let him say his Old Trafford goodbyes.
In the modern-day game, in this United system, I’m just not sure where Mata fits in. Unfortunately, that has always been the problem for the ex-Chelsea man – who has often been stuck out on the wing rather than being allowed to wave his magic wand playing as a #10.
It’s a weird situation. In terms of having a world-class footballing-brain there aren’t many that can match him. In a different era, maybe even in a different league he’d thrive, he’d be amongst the best in the world. The Premier League, at this moment, isn’t suited to his style.
That’s where United and Mata have a tough decision to make. He loves it here, the fans adore him. On the face of it, though, outside of a couple of stunning free-kicks, what has he actually brought to the table? It’s time to let him leave and flourish elsewhere.
A move back to his homeland seems the inevitable option. He’d be closer to friends and family, playing in a league that is tailor-made for him. Over there, pace isn’t required, he’d be allowed to do what he does best and most importantly, Mata would feel huge benefits.
He’s at that stage in his career where regular football is a necessity. United cannot offer him that at this juncture. Other clubs can. It’d also benefit the Red Devils as his wages would be off the books while those off-the-bench minutes can be spent elsewhere. Perhaps a Mason Greenwood or a Tahith Chong can step up to the mark – in a system that suits them far better than it does Mata.
It would be a shame, it would be sad to see him leave, but it’s the best thing for all involved if Juan Mata were to move away.