With seemingly only a medical to go before 25 year-old Spanish international Juan Mata becomes a Manchester United player, questions arise whether he will thrive or fall for the European giants.
It's all but done that Mata is to be a United player for an estimated £35 million from Chelsea. There's no secret that he was unhappy with not being played near as much under José Mourinho, especially with the fact that he was voted Chelsea player of the year twice in a row in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and was also chosen for the Premier League PFA team of the year in 2012-13.
It does make you question why he fell out of favour.
With nothing but good performances by contributing goals and being a main source of assists, it is difficult to see why Mourinho placed others ahead of him. He is agile, has incredible vision, makes defence-breaking runs and does not stop working for his team, which some may argue puts him ahead of at least one or two of the current starters.
The likes of Oscar, Willian and even Andre Schurrle are getting the nod ahead of him, maybe one being understandable. Oscar is a consistent performer, despite his age - scoring goals and setting them up. Willian is only coming into his own now and Schurrle still really hasn't hit his Leverkusen form yet.
The frustrations are easy to understand for Mata. With huge accolades to his name including Europa League winner, Champions League winner and even World Cup winner all before his mid-20s, I think I would be angling for a move to be played regularly too.
On the other side of this deal is of course United. Desperately needing that push back to being a feared club, they are seeking a key-player to provide the creativity they crave. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie injured, on top of the fact newest purchase Marouane Fellaini can not find his feet - they have lacked any kind of consistent source of goals. Mata would not only contribute the goals themselves, but bring others around him into play.
Having the finishing of an experienced striker and the capabilities to set his peers up similar to that of a playmaker, this seems to be a spot-on choice from David Moyes. It seems his mind was set on Belgian international Fellaini or Japanese international Shinji Kagawa to fill that void, clearly with no success.
Welsh veteran Ryan Giggs is finally slowing down to a point were not even he can provide on a regular basis. United also lack that "Scholes-like" player in the midfield to push the ball up from more defensive positions and even set some attackers into play, with younger players like Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones not quite fitting the bill.
Overall I think this is a fantastic choice for both parties. Mata will get regular game-time, with the chances to show just how good he is - restoring his personal former glory and United will be getting a huge player that will definitely boost their chances of firing their way into the top four.
Expect to see a vintage Mata return, with the possibility of that igniting the very same from United.
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