English Premier League (EPL) club midfielder, Juan Mata is happy to stay at Old Trafford this summer. The Spaniard has come to an agreement with new manager Jose Mourinho and has accepted that he won’t be a regular started under the Portuguese tactician.
Mourinho is believed to have a role for Mata in his team despite signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund over the summer. However, the opportunities for the Spaniard will be limited under the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager, as reported by Sam Wallace of the Daily Telegraph.
Manchester United has enjoyed a perfect start to their Premier League campaign. They have won both their opening matches against the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton. Mata started both the games for the Red Devils ahead of new signing Mkhitaryan.
Despite the good start, there were transfer rumors surfacing that Mourinho will sell Mata, given the duos past relationship at Chelsea. Mourinho sold Mata to Manchester United in 2014, citing the fact that the player’s defensive attributes are not impressive.
However, Mata’s defensive stats have improved recently and this has been noticed by the Portuguese manager. He is thus willing to give the World Cup winner a chance to prove himself at Old Trafford.
Juan Mata's defensive actions tonight:
100% aerial duels won
100% tackles won
1 interception pic.twitter.com/5gBmV3BIlo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 19, 2016
Mata has showcased his attributes during the first two matches of Manchester United in the Premier League. He featured mainly on the right flank, where he connected brilliantly with teammate Antonio Valencia. He created a number of openings for the team and also contributed defensively.
Despite the improvement in his game under Mourinho, Jonathan Fadugba of FourFourTwo has already questioned the counter attacking abilities of the player. He has mentioned that Mkhitaryan will be a much better fit at the position and will offer United more than both Mata and Wayne Rooney.
Mkhitaryan ability to launch counter-attacks so much better than Rooney (& Mata for that matter). Not to mention quick feet. Will start soon
— Jonathan Fadugba (@JFfutbol) August 19, 2016
The Spaniard will stay at Old Trafford for now, especially with United having to play on Thursdays as they will feature in this season’s Europa League. However, January will be the time when his performance will again be assessed. If Mata fails to impress by then, he could see himself heading out of Manchester.
Photo courtesy: Twitter.com/ juanmata8