Manchester United need to improve their squad during this January transfer window. There are of course the usual caveats regarding not panic buying but such is the malaise over Old Trafford currently that a statement almost needs be made. Manchester United need to live up to the claim that they are the biggest club in the world.
This is the first, but least important reason for signing Juan Mata. Bringing in the Spaniard for a reported £35 million from Chelsea would certainly do this.
Much of the talk amongst the chattering heads, though, is that whilst Mata is a great player he doesn't fit into mold of a Manchester United player and that signing him would entail a drastic change in the way Manchester United play. Gary Neville is certainly of this view.
Neville argues that Manchester United historically play pacey attacking wingers and focus on getting the ball to them quickly. Mata's preferred position is in the centre behind the attacker/s.
He lacks the pace to play as a quick attacking winger and so the issue is how would he fit into the centre of the pitch which is already stocked with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Look at how Shinji Kagawa has struggled.
These concerns are misplaced.
In the modern game, much of the wide-attacking threat is provided by the full-backs - the best of whom play like the David Beckhams and Ryan Giggs of old offensively. This is something David Moyes understands well. Just look at how he transformed Leighton Baines into one of the best full-backs in Europe.
The new attacking full-back has moved wingers off the touchline towards the middle of the pitch where they have become inside forwards/playmakers.
This is the role that Mata is perfectly suited for. Furthermore, with full-backs like Rafael and Patrice Evra in the side, Manchester United can keep their wide play tradition going through them.
Moyes could then field a front three of Rooney, Van Persie and Mata. This is an attacking ensemble that could rank up there with Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney, Carlos Tevez and George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton.
Signing Mata could be the start of David Moyes dynasty.
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