Former Liverpool star and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp believes Juan Mata is too good to be a super sub at Manchester United, and should look for pastures new.
Mata, who provided the winner in the 67th minute for United in their Premier League game against Crystal Palace at the weekend, has been deemed by many to be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Redknapp on Mata
And Redknapp has claimed that the Spaniard is better off at a new club rather than scampering for opportunities at United.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp said: "He came off the bench to save Manchester United against Crystal Palace and he must be wondering what more he has to do to play regular football at Old Trafford."
Redknapp revealed that a player of Mata's calibre is too good to savour the bittersweet taste of the dreaded bench and sees him returning to Spain in the future.
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"He is too good to be a super sub at United and if he doesn’t get some more action, I could see him moving on or maybe even back to Spain," Redknapp writes.
"He is too good to be a super sub at United"
The super sub
Mata, who has been a subject of some intense and yet undeserved scrutiny from fans and media alike, is no stranger to footballing subjugation. Having being sold by Jose Mourinho whilst the Spaniard's stint with Chelsea, Mata joined United in the hopes of getting regular first team action.
"There is no doubting his quality — this is a player with a World Cup and European Championship to his name," writes Redknapp.
"But he found himself surplus to requirements at Chelsea and now seems to be in a similar position at Manchester United."
Redknapp lamented the media's attempt to pick on the former Chelsea man. The former player, who is the son of current Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp, believes it is easy to find scapegoats in the game.
"It is easy to pick on Juan Mata. He is not blessed with pace, he’s not a big player and he comes across as a quiet, humble guy. But you cannot argue with what he produces on the pitch," he said.
Redknapp further went on to admire Mata's calm demeanor and applauded the Spaniard's behaviour on and off the pitch.
"You have to credit him because he never causes a fuss or has a bad word to say. But make no mistake. He wants to play football," he added.
United will face Arsenal at the Emirates in their next league outing, which could prove to be a blockbuster showdown between the two rivals. And, with Radamel Falcao's expected return, Juan Mata faces an even tougher fight to break into the United line-up.