|Source: Manchester Evening News|
During our first two games of pre-season in 2019/20 we have seen Juan Mata play a more central role then we have previously watched him for most of his United career. For the past few seasons especially, United fans have gotten accustomed to Manchester United’s number 8 playing out of position on the wing, rather than in his preferred central position. And as a result of this Mata effectiveness for Man United has has declined, however if we continue you to use him in a number 10 role we could see his contribution to the team increase significantly.
Whilst playing at number 10 during pre-season we are seeing extremely positive things from Juan Mata and his effect on the attacking output of this new look Manchester United team. This position benefits Mata more than when he plays on the wing as there is less defensive contributions to be made buy a number 10. Additionally, he is able to utilise his best attributes in the number 10 position, which are is close control, pinpoint passing, ability to play a through ball into the path of a striker and is ability to to create chances with key passes.
It could be argued that Mata is passed his best and done at the top level of the game but I’d have to disagree. While probably not being able to play every game next season I believe Juan Mata can play an important squad role and can contribute to Manchester United’s attacking output. How can we say no to someone one who has 50 Premier League goals and 60 Premier League assists.