Despite his excellent performance against Liverpool on Saturday, Juan Mata was dropped to the bench for Manchester United's humiliating Champions League defeat to Sevilla.
Some incredible statistics have since emerged which show just how vital the 29-year-old Spanish midfielder is.
The Red Devils - who drew the first leg in Spain 0-0 thanks to David De Gea's heroics - were eliminated after losing 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
French striker Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to score a brace in an awful night for Jose Mourinho's side.
Man United failed to trouble the Sevilla defence but the Portuguese coach bemusingly only brought Mata on in the 77th minute.
"There’s signs in the last two games that there’s a team there and Juan Mata’s become more important to connect the team," said Gary Neville after the 2-1 win over Liverpool.
"It looks like you’ve got [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, [Romelu] Lukaku but they haven’t got that glue that just knits it together. Mata looks like he might become a very important player."
Jesse Lingard was preferred to Mata on Tuesday night and you would imagine that Neville wasn't too pleased with that decision.
Man United's record with and without Juan Mata
Spanish journalist Eduardo Fdez-Abascal did some research in the aftermath of Man United's Champions League exit and discovered something remarkable about Mata.
The Reds have played 45 games in all competitions this season, of which the former Chelsea midfielder has started 28.
With Mata in the starting XI this season
28 games, 23 wins, 4 draws, 1 defeat.
That's a loss percentage of 3.6% - and a win percentage of 82.1%!
Without Mata in the starting XI this season
17 games, 7 wins, 2 draw, 8 defeats.
That's a loss percentage of 47.1% - and a win percentage of 41.2%!
It's a big enough sample size to draw an objective conclusion and it shows just how important Mata is to making United tick.
Surely he'll be recalled to the starting XI when Man United face Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday evening.
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