According to The Telegraph, Chelsea have accepted a £37million bid for Juan Mata and immediately released the Spanish international to join Manchester United". Mata's undeniable creative talents is not a secret.
Voted Chelsea Player Of Year for two consecutive years, Mata chalked up an amazing 12 goals and 20 assists in his debut season for The Blues, followed by a stunning performance in the 2012/13 campaign, where he scored 20 and assisted 35 times. After Jose Mourinho took over from Rafael Benitez, Mata fell behind Oscar in the pecking order as the team's first-choice playmaker, evident from his mere three assists and one solitary goal in the 2-0 Capital One Cup victory against Arsenal way back in October.
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil right around the corner, Mata needs substantial playing time to stake a place in the squad of a Spanish team oozing with ridiculous amounts of talent, especially when playmakers like David Silva and Cesc Fabregas are having fine seasons with their respective teams, with the latter having already created 12 goals and scored 11 for himself.
Manchester United meanwhile are having a terrible season of sorts. Trailing high-flying Arsenal by 14 points, they are finding themselves struggling to even claim a Champions League spot. Without Wayne Rooney or van Persie in the lineup against Sunderland, they crashed out of the Capital One Cup on penalties despite winning 2-1 in the second leg of the semi-final clash.
Much criticism has been directed to David Moyes about his tactics and his management skills, but in his defence, he can't do much with a depleted squad of uninspired players who consistently deliver stagnant and insipid performances. The Red Devils don't need a new manager. They desperately need new quality, and Mata is the answer. Words can't describe how genius this transfer is.
Mesut Ozil moved to Arsenal on transfer deadline day of summer 2013 in a club record £42.4 million. His move sparked up the fans and more importantly lifted the morale of a team who had a disappointing 2012/13 season. The Gunners are playing excellent passing football at the moment and although they do not churn out flamboyant victories like Manchester City, who is ironically behind them by a point, they have the league's best joint defence.
In recent matches, Ozil’s form has dropped a little, but look at how clinical and energised the rest of the squad is. With a talisman like Mata, Manchester United will be offered a new lease of life under the 25-year-old Spanish international. It wouldn't mata, if Mata doesn't settle down immediately in his new club, which is highly unlikely anyway considering the instant impact he made when he transferred from Valencia to Chelsea 3 years ago.
What is more important now is to get the fans back behind the team and infuse much-needed confidence and morale into a team beleaguered by atrocious results.
As mentioned earlier, Manchester United currently have a squad that is simply not good enough to compete for the title. De Gea has settled down since his nightmarish start to life in the Premier League but his costly error during the crucial meeting against Sunderland, coupled with his weak aerial ability makes him a unreliable custodian to put between the sticks, especially when the Manchester United defence looks like... the way it is.
Patrice Evra has shown flashes of brilliance this season and cut down on his amateur defensive mistakes that made him so unpopular with the fans during the previous season, but his lapses in concentration and gradual lack of speed has led to a couple of goals conceded this season.
For Jonny Evans, he definitely improved. My father who's a Red Devils fan used to be so happy when he got a red card because "Manchester United can finally play better". However, his performances has been far from convincing.
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic is a power pairing that's hard to break when they are on their days. But with their ageing and injuring-proneness, how rarely are they on their days? Fabio and Rafael da Silva are too inexperienced to be playing at such high of a level, while Chris Smalling makes too many errors, too many times.
In the engine room, Shinji Kagawa is a great player, but what is the point of buying something if you're not going to use it? Kagawa was a key player at Borussia Dortmund, contributing greatly consistently and playing at the highest level week in week out. Now, he's a key member in warming the bench. Moyes has not been able to implement a playing style that revolves around the hard-working playmaker, often playing him out of position on the left, with Rooney getting his favored No. 10 role. Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani have thrown in atrocious performances which makes me wonder why Sir Alex Ferguson spent so many millions on the trio.
Wilfried Zaha is a terrific and exciting player, but Moyes just stubbornly refuses to pick him. He adds agility and trickery to the wings and brings players into play with his cut-ins and crosses, but he is just deemed not good enough.
Anderson has been a major disappointment. Having shown signs of brilliance at the start of both 11/12 and 12/13 Premier League campaigns, he has consistently failed to live up to his price tag. Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick are fine midfielders, but I am unsure if they have the quality to challenge for the title.
Ryan Giggs pales in comparison during his dominant days, and Cleverly, touted to be the next big thing, has once again failed to live up to his hype. He may have a pass accuracy of 90%, but how many of them are actually sent to decisive positions?
Javier Hernandez has been used mainly for appearances off the bench, Danny Welbeck is not the sharp finisher they need and Federico Macheda fizzled out so much he's currently out on loan to Doncaster Rovers.
Adnan Januzaj has impressed greatly, but he has already seen yellow three times for diving and is only behind Gareth Bale in the all-time list of top-flight divers, despite making just 14 appearances.
Rooney and van Persie have been the only two dependable players in a squad ravaged with fluctuating players. With the both of them coming back from injury soon, Mata will be an excellent in spraying pin-point passes to the two hungry goal machines who have scored 9 and 10 goals respectively despite being out for most part of the campaign with injuries.
And speaking about injuries, Juan Mata has never been injured, at least not for a long time anyway. According to The Daily Mail, the Spaniard "played almost non-stop for three years before his current predicament." Well that's relieving for a team who use to count Owen Hargreaves in their roster. Other than the immensely talented English midfielder who unfortunately got plagued with injuries throughout his career, United has a couple of important players who are prone to injuries, and their continued absence often derails their title chasing credentials and chances. With a playmaker who delivers unfailing world class performances every week, without getting injured, Manchester United is bound to turn their season around with a new dimension in the attacking third.
There are of course doubts casted on whether Mata is what United really needs. Like what Gary Neville says, "Mata (might not) fit in with what I would call the typical philosophy of Manchester United". With Rooney and van Persie playing up front, there would be a problem in utilising all three players in a conservative 4-4-2 Moyes favors. And Mata wouldn't be given the license to express his creative abilities. His addition suggests a change in mentality from Moyes, probably to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation that uses less of width but more attacking forages through the center, which would make more sense in order for Mata to roam and thrive in.
One of the chief reason why Manchester United faltered so badly this season is because of a traditional and unexciting formation. With a 4-4-2 formation the wings are extremely important and like previously said, the quality of the wings are no where near what is required. Changing to a 4-3-3 will mean the attacking players finally has the freedom to play to their strengths and provide versatility when they move up for an attack.
Mata will undergo a medical on Thursday at United. And once he passes it, he's not just going to add quality. He's going to change the entire club.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU