Juan Mata has revealed that he felt he was lucky to be involved in the transfer that saw him move to Manchester United in January 2014, despite the fact he was a fan favourite at Chelsea.
The Spaniard, whose comments have been relayed by the Daily Star, has insisted that he was fortunate to switch to Old Trafford when he was purchased for a then-club-record fee of £42.5 million, and even aimed what some may perceive to be a dig at his former club by playing up the size of United.
"Obviously you feel very lucky to come here in a transfer like that and I just wanted to give back all this confidence [shown in me] on the pitch," he said.
"Obviously you feel very lucky to come here in a transfer like that"
"The welcome was unbelievable from everyone at the club – the staff, the players, the fans, everyone who works for United.
"Obviously the size of the club and reaction around the world to the transfer was incredible. It was a bit like "whoa, it's a massive club".
Jose Mourinho caused quite the stir when he decided to offload Mata during last year’s winter window, with the player being heralded as the saviour of David Moyes’s disastrous campaign.
Of course the 26-year-old was unable to inspire a turn around, and has since been joined by the likes of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and compatriot Ander Herrera.
Despite the influx of stars though Mata has yet to put to bed rumours that he could be in line for an exit in the coming months.
The diminutive playmaker has failed to shine in a similar manner to the way he so often did at Stamford Bridge, and with Van Gaal now looking to refine a team bursting with a potential, casualties are to be expected.