A week into Jose Mourinho’s reign as Manchester United manager and United have signed three new players including attacking midfielder/right-winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian attacker signed from Borussia Dortmund for a fee around £30 million and is sure to add a combination of pace, skill and the ability to create as well as score goals. This would appear as good news all round but probably not for Juan Mata, who has been linked with a move away from the club. The 28-year-old Spaniard is a hugely popular figure around the dressing room and in the Manchester United community with kind gestures like going to celebrate and take photos with the young fan at the away game versus Norwich City. This has put Mata upon a pedestal, especially in the eyes of the Manchester United faithful, but his performances on the field haven’t really lived up to expectations.
Considering Mata’s history with Jose Mourinho, it is extremely unlikely that these off the field actions will help in any way when he makes the decision regarding Mata. During the 2015/16 season, Mata played 34 games of which four came from the bench, scoring six goals and registering five assists. Often stats can be deceiving but in all honesty, he has been below par all season and when playing from the right he lacked the pace and trickery to compete at the top-level. Behind the striker in the number 10 role is clearly where Mata wants to be and his best performances came in that role but with Mourinho insisting captain Wayne Rooney will play as a number 10 or as a striker, it looks like Mata will play second fiddle. This decision could be made easier for Mourinho with Ronald Koeman wanting to bring Mata to Goodison Park with him.
“When the Dutchman was asked about the possibility of bringing the duo to the club in what would be a sensational move for Everton under new owner Farhad Moshiri, he responded; ‘yes it is possible.'”
Obtained Koeman autographs this afternoon-obliging as ever. Any new signings, Mata or Witzel? "Yes it is possible!" pic.twitter.com/RvCBwYXQvt
— Sportsignings (@Sportsignings) July 8, 2016
This extract taken from the 90min article states that Koeman is keen on bringing the 28-year-old to Everton along with Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel for a combined fee of over £50 million. If these stories are to be true and Mata does leave, it’ll be interesting to see if it is to Everton or whether Mourinho and United would prefer if he went abroad rather than stay in the same league.
Regardless of whether it’s to another Premiership club or whether it’s back to Spain, it looks pretty set that he’ll leave the club. With the history Jose Mourinho has with Juan Mata, the desire he has to play first team football and his less than impressive season just gone at United, he may well want a fresh start away from the club. Only time will tell but for now, Juan Mata remains a Manchester United player.