|Image from talkSPORT|
Name: Juan Mata
Date of Birth (Age): April 28th 1988 (32)
At the club since: 2014
Appearances this season: 37
Contract until: June 2021
Average Minutes Per Game:52
Juan Mata is a player I love and have loved ever since he joined the club, so for me it’s sad to see the role that he has been delegated with the team. I feel that like, although he does have advancing years right now, his range of passing could suit perfectly into the role that Bruno Fernandes plays in attack right now.
This was highlighted in his role in the second leg against LASK, where Manchester United won 2-1, with Juan Mata getting the assist for both goals. If you see below, his stats in that game show what he could do if he was to see more game time. Sure, he started the game a yard or 5 off the pace, as he was played on the right wing. However, when he was moved into the hole at number 10, he had a spectacular second half, and was probably the only player who started the game that really gave Ole a sign he could play more.
The other big highlight for Juan Mata this season, was his goal against Wolves in the FA Cup Replay which started our run to the Semi Finals. Mostly, this game is remembered for being the game where Marcus Rashford, who gave Mata the assist, got his back injury which could’ve put him out for most of the rest of the season. Although Mata probably won’t be a key player at United again, it showed the impact that he can definitely have, and I think he is very overlooked as a strong backup to our starting XI.
Overall, Juan Mata did not get his chance to show what he could do this season. After his starring role in that second leg win in the Europa League, he came on for half an hour against FC Copenhagen and only played 3 minutes against Sevilla in the Semi Final. The game against Copenhagen was certainly a game where Mata could have played, whilst giving a rest to our jaded midfield, and perhaps have made a better impact, so that we wouldn’t have had to go to extra time. In the Premier League, following the coronavirus break, Mata saw a total of 19 minutes over two games.
Overall Rating – 4/10
Ambitions For Next Season
All in all, I think Juan Mata will stay at Manchester United. He is an experienced player, a smart man and a cool head in the dressing room. It will be important for our younger players to be able to go to him, as he has won almost everything there is to win as a football. If you listen to his interview on the Manchester United podcast, you get a sense of the kind of person he is, from his reaction to not seeing game time, to his excellent charity work with Common Goal. Overall, Juan Mata is still a top passer of the ball and can still do a job at Manchester United, so I think we will keep him