Manchester United attacking midfielder Juan Mata is expected to leave Old Trafford and head to Everton this summer. The speculation has taken a rise ever since the Spaniard was substituted in the Community Shield match against Leicester City after coming on as a substitute himself.
United manager Jose Mourinho is believed of not sharing a good relationship with Mata, especially as the Portuguese sold the player during their time together at Chelsea to the Red Devils. The Community Shield substitution is believed to reignite Mata’s desire to leave Old Trafford as he won’t be regularly featuring as a first-team player under the self proclaimed “Special One”, as reported by Paul Hirst and Gary Jacob of the Times.
Everton manager, Ronald Koeman is looking to sign two attacking midfielders to his team this summer. Yannick Bolasie of Crystal Palace is one of the Dutchman’s target. The other player whom Koeman wants to add to his Everton setup is Juan Mata.
Mourinho meanwhile doesn’t want to delve too much into him substituting Mata at the Community Shield match. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager explained that the decision was made because of tactics and not for personal reasons.
“I needed to take off the smallest player because we were expecting a lot of long balls. The rules allow six changes, I had made five and I wanted to stop the game. I think he played very well. He gave me exactly what I needed.” Mourinho said, as reported by BBC Sport.
There is a mixture of reactions in the social media regarding Mourinho’s decision to substitute the 28-year-old. Many believe that the two-time Champions League winning manager has disrespected the World-Cup winner.
Perhaps it was tactical or an injury, I just hope this is sorted out. Feel bad for him.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) August 8, 2016
…which could mean signing someone like, I dunno, Juan Mata? He'd be ideal for playing through the middle, creating so much in those areas.
— Garry Hayes (@garryhayes) August 8, 2016
While others are stating that too much is being made of the matter.
Complete ott reaction to Mata's substitution. It's a friendly where a trophy was up for grabs. The aim is to win and that's what JM does.
— Tom McDermott (@MrTomMcDermott) August 7, 2016
If Mata remains at Old Trafford this season, he will not be getting a regular starting birth, given the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund. However, with a lot of Europa League and Cup matches to happen this season, squad rotation will be key and the Spaniard could be given an opportunity to stake his claim higher up the pecking order.
Photo courtesy: @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London/Wikipedia