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Is Juan Mata the solution to United's woes?

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Following Juan Mata's record transfer to Manchester United from rivals Chelsea, the question on the minds of football fans across the globe will wonder: is the diminutive yet undoubtedly talented Spaniard the key to bringing success to Moyes' new regime?

The 25-year-old playmaker enjoyed outstanding success at Chelsea, where he twice claimed the Player of the Year award, as he played an integral part in the Blues' FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League successes over the course of two-and-a-half seasons he spent in West London

With the return of the 'Special One', Jose Mourinho, the Spaniard had recently been frozen out the side, with the Portuguese manager preferring the likes of Oscar and Willian in an attacking midfielder role. Mata had only made 13 appearances in the League under the new regime, and was notably frustrated at being substituted in a 3-0 win at Southampton.

This cued rife speculation over the 32-times capped Spaniard's future at Stamford Bridge - as reports claiming Mata's unhappiness grew, the likelihood of a transfer materialising increased also. Eventually, United secured Mata's signature in a record £37 million move, but the question remains: is the Spaniard the right player for United - and is he the saviour to the Reds' woes this season?

United themselves have been frustrated, unable to churn out the results of old, under the tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson, and their relatively poor form has resulted in them occupying 7th place in the Premier League, 14 points short of leaders Arsenal.

It has been a baptism of fire for Sir Alex's successor, David Moyes, who sees an Everton side he departed in the summer remaining 5 points clear of the Red Devils. Much was made of Moyes' shrewd signings at Goodison Park - a majority of Martinez's side was indeed signed by the Scotsman - and yet, the summer transfer window was a somewhat unfulfilling one; the only major addition to the side was the Belgian Marouane Fellaini, who, despite arriving for a hefty fee of £27.5 million, has yet to really impress, with no goals thus far, in a total of only 11 appearances for the club.

Having been linked with the likes of Ander Herrera, Cesc Fabregas and even a sensational move for Ballon D'or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, the signing of Fellaini did little to ease the worries of United fans at the seeming lack of quality and depth their squad possesses, particularly in comparison to the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City.

United's weaknesses in midfield have been exposed, with 17-year-old Adnan Januzaj contributing the most assists for the team, even with only 3 thus far.

A midfielder, many fans agreed, was what United were desperately in need of - and Moyes was quick to act, spending a record fee on a Spaniard who is proven in the Premier League, and according to the Scotsman, one of the best playmakers in the game.

Mata registered a total of 18 assists last season, in a central attacking midfielder role often behind Fernando Torres. Given Torres scored a total of 8 goals last season, United fans could be forgiven for being optimistic at what Mata achieve as a result of a link with van Persie, who scored 26 goals last season, and 30 goals before that, at Arsenal.

United's current pass accuracy rate this year lies at around 84%, as opposed to 86% of last season - Mata's own passing accuracy rate thus far this season lies at around 88%. Mata can therefore, bring great cohesion to a United side who have been lacking fluency as of late. The Spaniard may be the key to bringing in the likes of Nani, Valencia and Ashley Young, wingers whose contributions to goals have been scrutinised as of late. 

Mata's contributions are not solely confined to assists - he is quite capable of finding the net for himself, finding the net 11 times last season for the Blues in the League. This is a bonus for United, as goes their notoriety for being able to churn out victory from the jaws of defeat on numerous occasions - the spark has been missing as of late, but Mata may be the player to bring it back to United.

Mata's age of 25 likely means he will form the crux of a 'new-look' United side. The figurehead at Old Trafford is, currently, 28-year-old Wayne Rooney. However, Mata's conflicting position with Rooney (both play a central-attacking midfield role - though the latter has made clear his preference to be an out and out striker), may cause some conflict within the side.

Rooney's transfer saga was a result of the Englishman's frustration at being pushed deeper into midfield from his ideal position of a striker, a result of Robin van Persie's move to the club last season. 

However, one suspects that van Persie's age (now 30), may aid Rooney's claim to playing as United's starting striker - with Mata occupying the space behind him. If so, Moyes may have a relationship between two of the Premier League's most exciting talents; which could see some success brought back to the much aggrieved fans of Old Trafford.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Juan Mata
Football

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