Manchester United are in a crisis under David Moyes, and the Premier League Champions loss to Stoke City on Saturday hasn't helped the Red Devils who now lie in 7th place.
They trail leaders Manchester City by 13 points and 4th placed Liverpool by seven.
The January transfer window was Moyes' last chance to strengthen for the current campaign and he brought in Chelsea's Juan Mata in an attempt to boost the side, but could his exorbitant fee have been better used elsewhere?
Manchester United need strengthening in more areas than one, but the coveted number 10 position has many claimants in the current United squad.
Wayne Rooney is the obvious choice here, playing just behind the striker and is both a threat to goal directly and able to develop play and create chances for other United players.
Another player capable of filling that position is Japanese attacker Shinji Kagawa who arrived at the club in 2012 for a reported £12 Million.
Kagawa's former manager Jurgen Klopp has expressed his disappointment in his 'bit part' role at Manchester United, describing both the lack of game time and decision to field the playmaker on the left wing as heart breaking.
The options don't end there as David Moyes' only notable summer signing came in the form of former player Marouane Fellaini from Everton for 27.5 million pounds.
Fellaini found great success playing in the number 10 role at Everton and hasn't yet impressed in his deeper lying role in Manchester United's midfield, although his campaign has been hindered by injury and he may still prove himself capable.
Seemingly Juan Mata would be best suited to this same position but following his arrival from Chelsea Mata is likely to be deployed in a less natural wider role.
This all begs the question, would United's money have been better spent elsewhere?
Mata being deployed on the right wing in Saturday's loss to Stoke City suggests that this will be his role in a fully fit United side, a position that may have been better filled by Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, who was a reported Manchester United target in January.
The Madrid winger would add width, pace and goals to United's line up and although it's not confirmed may have been available at the right price which would surely be less than the fee splurged on Mata.
Although David Moyes can't have predicted the first half double injury suffered by centre back pairing Jones and Evans in Saturday's loss at the Britannia Stadium, United's defensive frailties have been apparent for quite some time, even in the final year of Sir Alex Ferguson's United career.
A player who impressed for Stoke against United this week was former player Ryan Shawcross. The Stoke skipper has been rock solid for the Potters in recent years, with 12 clean sheets in last season's Premier League and with 32 blocks and 200 clearances already this campaign he might just be the man to plug United's leaky defense.
All in all the pair (Di Maria and Shawcross) may have come in for around the same fee as Mata alone and arguably could have been better suited to Manchester United's current needs.
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