Football

Juan Mata will flop like Shinji Kagawa

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Juan Mata is reportedly on the verge of signing for Manchester United in what would be a club record deal, but the forward thinking midfielder may not be what the Red Devils really need.

Like potential new team-mate Shinji Kagawa, Mata's preferred position is in the No.10 role, as it allows him to express himself and provide for his forwards.

However, United traditionally play in a 4-4-2, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie up top, and more defensive options in the centre of midfield, like Michael Carrick or, more recently Darren Fletcher.

In addition, they favour playing with two forward thinking wide-men, such as Adnan Januzaj or Antonio Valencia, as they can get down the wings and deliver the ball into the two deadly strikers.

So, you may be wondering, like many, how is Mata going to fit into this formation that the Manchester club have used for over two decades?

It is unlikely that they will change and have one forward thinking central midfielder and one still holding, as it is crucial in the modern day that your back four has a large amount of cover from midfield.

A great example of this would be Bayern Munich, who deploy veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger and either Javi Martinez or Phillip Lahm in deep midfield roles. This allows the creativity of Franck Ribéry, Mario Götze and Arjen Robben to flourish further up the pitch.

Manchester United would not want to do this, as it would mean them playing with only one upfront. In my opinion, I would suggest the most likely formation change if any would be the one that see the Manchester based club switch to the formation their fierce rivals Manchester City are deadly with.

The 4-2-3-1 that City play allows them to still use two strikers, as Sergio Agüero plays a slightly deeper role, with star striker Alvaro Negredo further up the pitch. This formation also allows Samir Nasri and David Silva to play in an adapted version of the No.10 role, as they are pushed further out wide, whilst still having midfield security from Fernandinho and African footballer of the year Yaya Touré.

This could be a problem for Juan Mata if he is pushed out wide, as he would not be playing off of the striker, this would be Rooney.

We have seen already this season that in the position Nasri plays in, there are a lot of defensive duties, which Mata has previously struggled with at Chelsea.

Another point to add is that Mata is not blessed with pace, and may struggle in a position that involves playing out wide, beating a man and delivering a cross with accuracy into the danger area.

Valencia and Januzaj have already proved they can do this to a high standard this season.

Another worry for United fans, is that with the imminent arrival of the Spanish playmaker, it could result in either Van Persie or Rooney leaving the club, with Rooney being linked with Real Madrid earlier in the window.

For Mata, the World Cup in Brazil could be a chance for more glory on the international stage, but his place will no doubt be in jeopardy, especially if he ends up like Kagawa, struggling for a start in his favoured position and showing a poor work ethic at tracking back.

Will he be enough to save David Moyes' dreadful first season at Old Trafford? Personally no, but we will have to wait and see where United are at the end of May, with Champions League qualification now surely their main aim.

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Chelsea
Juan Mata
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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