What's not to like about Juan Mata? The Manchester United playmaker is one of the classiest players on the pitch and, by all accounts, he is a class act away from it.
But, as Louis van Gaal's Old Trafford career approaches its end, United's tricky Spaniard may well be worried.
Why? Jose Mourinho. The charismatic, yet controversial Portuguese tactician has long been linked to the top job at Old Trafford, but the club's hierarchy have opted to steer away from him in pursuit of long-term success.
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According to recent reports, however, that could be about to change. With Van Gaal's philosophy failing, United could finally hand Mourinho the opportunity to manage the club.
But where would that leave Mata?
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Mata struggles under Mourinho
Mourinho, of course, was the man that made Mata surplus to requirements in west London. Despite the midfielder securing back-to-back Player of the Year awards at Stamford Bridge, the former Chelsea boss failed to hand him a prominent role in the side.
Clearly, Mata wasn't a Mourinho-type player. And do you really think that would have changed over the last two years? Probably not.
Mata's stylish, technically gifted, a creator and scorer of goals, but he's not the kind of player Mourinho wants in his side.
In the months leading up to Mata's Chelsea exit, the writing was on the wall. Back in 2013, when speaking about the Spaniard, Mourinho stated: "It's part of a process with him, too. It is one thing to play with Ramires and Oscar closing down opponents on each side, and Mata as a No10 behind a striker with his clever assists, clever passes and fantastic actions because he has great talent.
"But it is another thing to adapt to the way we want to play. In this moment, Oscar is my No10 and, if anyone tells me Oscar has not been Chelsea's best player this season, I'd have to disagree. I have to prove to the fans that I am good. Now [Mata] must do the same."
Ultimately, Mata failed to live up to Mourinho's expectations.
Has Mata changed?
The notion that Mata is still the same player to the one that starred under Mourinho at Chelsea would be wrong, however. The playmaker is different now. Of course, at Chelsea he was so often played behind the striker, but at United he's had a regular role on the right-hand side of the pitch.
He's worked hard for the team, too; he's used his experience well and proved a steady outlet for the Red Devils. But has he really excelled in Manchester? He has been great at times, but he's still failed to produce the goods on a consistent basis.
Nine goals in 33 league games wasn't a bad return last season while four goals in 17 league games this term is an adequate tally. But it's unlikely that these statistics will be enough for Mourinho, who demands so much more from his players.
Mata will surely be concerned by the potential appointment of Mourinho. His United career could meet a sudden end.
Manchester United fans: what do you think would happen to Mata if Mourinho was appointed? Have your say below!
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