When did Manchester United's midfield problem begin? When you ask different people, you get different answers. Some say they never filled the void left from when Roy Keane left, others argue that United failed to sufficiently strengthen after their Champions League triumph in 2008.
However, when the problem began is irrelevant. The main issue is why it has taken Manchester United such a long time to address the midfield. This isn't a problem that has just appeared since Moyes has taken over. Pundits, analysts and the common football fans have all recognised that United's midfield was overly reliant on the likes of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick for a very long time.
Tom Cleverley and Anderson have proven this season they aren't up to the task. The Englishman may be given six months to prove himself, however Anderson doesn't have time to justify his selection anymore.
After arriving for a hefty fee, he's proven his fitness and talent is unreliable and inconsistent. There shouldn't be any need to signal to David Moyes he must reinforce in January after making his star forward of the season, Wayne Rooney, play centre-midfield because he's the only player capable of spraying the ball around.
At Stamford Bridge, Juan Mata is unsettled. Like any other player would be. It seems Mourinho is making another 'Casillas' situation in his career, by almost dismantling the little Spaniard's career until he moves on. This is incredibly strange, even by Mourinho's standards as Mata has been voted Chelsea's Player of the Year for the last two seasons.
As it is a World Cup year, Mata will be desperate to represent Spain in the World Cup. He's a constant figure in the national set-up and Mata will regret not leaving Chelsea if he isn't selected as he will have numerous suitors.
In the summer, in his pursuit to sign Rooney, Mourinho was adamant that there is absolutely nothing wrong with selling a star player to a rival, if it met the player's needs. Moyes should test his resolve.
If Manchester United could purchase Mata, it would be the marquee signing Moyes has been crying out for to spark his reign at his new club. Reports suggest Chelsea won't let him leave for at least £40million, but Moyes should splash the cash for the Spanish wizard.
At the ripe age of 26, he'd be a fantastic signing and is arguably as talented as Cesc Fabregas albeit they play in different positions. Being two-footed and having excellent vision, this is the type of player United are in desperate need of. They need to show they can content with the big boys and although they're out of the title race this season, they must look to have solid cup runs and achieve as much as possible this season.
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