Manchester United most certainly haven't had the season that anyone, let alone their fans, were expecting.
Inconsistent performances, especially at home, and poor results have led to the current Premier League champions finding themselves in seventh place and 14 points behind leaders Arsenal.
So when things aren't notoriously going to plan, what has always been United's solution to solve the problem?
To get the chequebook out.
That is exactly what new manager David Moyes has done with the signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea. This is no doubt a statement of intent and with Moyes promising more signings in the near future, it could be a new era for Manchester United Football Club.
Mata, despite been out of favour under Jose Mourinho this season, is undoubtably still one of the best players in this country and he could provide the spark that United need in the second half of the campaign.
When you look at United's line up, you see goals (Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie), pace (Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck) and you see experience (Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick) but perhaps the big missing link is the creativity.
All of the top teams in the Premier League this season have had a number 10 to rely on; Manchester City have David Silva, Arsenal have Mesut Ozil, Chelsea have Oscar, Liverpool have Phillippe Coutinho, Spurs have Christian Eriksen and Everton have Ross Barkley. Who have United had that their fans can rely on to provide that killer pass for the likes of Van Persie?
It is true that they have tried Rooney in the number 10 role, but a team like that needs him to provide the goals and not just the assists. This is why Mata is such a vital signing for United. He is exactly the man who can provide for Rooney and Van Persie when they need it most.
One only has to look at the stats to believe this. In terms of chances created in the last two and a half seasons, Mata's total is 227. Compare this with United's highest contributor Van Persie who has 171 (followed by Rooney with 140), it is evident that Mata is likely to be the main creative player at the club as soon as he steps onto the pitch.
Last season alone, Mata scored 20 goals and provided 35 assists in just 64 matches. This is an outstanding amount for such a gifted player who would walk into almost any team in the world.
In terms of the significance of the signing, it is huge. Manchester United have always been big club not only in England, but in the world also. Their current decline is putting this status at risk and if they don't qualify for the Champions League, it could be devastating for the morale of the club.
Therefore it will boost the spirits of United's fans that players like Mata are still rolling through the door. Suddenly, an attacking quartet of Adnan Januzaj, Mata, Rooney and Van Persie doesn't seem as bad as first thought.
Many journalists are saying that it will need more than Mata for United to compete with the likes of Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea again. On the evidence that we have seen this season, they are absolutely right. However, the signing of the former Valencia star is certainly a step in the right direction. It looks like Mourinho has handed United a lifeline when they seemed down and out.
Can Mata fire United into the Champions League? Watch this space.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: 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.