With the failings of the summer transfer window, the pressure was on David Moyes to deliver a productive winter window.
He has spent a substantial amount on Fellaini during the summer, and he is yet to receive any assurances that this was a signing worth making.
With that in mind, the expectation was that Moyes was once again going to be cautious in the January window. Up to that point, United had been faltering badly.
7th in the table and persistent injuries meant that this was United's worst start to a season in the Premier League era.
West Brom, Everton and Newcastle all came to Old Trafford, a ground where teams often feared playing, and made it feel like the Theatre of Nightmares for most United Fans.
With the signing of Fellaini, Moyes had appeared to have identified the most glaring weakness in the United team, the midfield.
Many months on however, the problem of an ailing midfield still exists, to the dismay of the United faithful.
Carrick had not been showing the impressive form of last season, and has been unsettled by injuries.
Cleverley has been given a more than decent opportunity to cement his place in the team, but his progress is more regressive than progressive.
Moyes was reluctant to trust Anderson in the middle, so resorted to using the oft-injured Jones, and 40 year old Giggs instead.
Moyes's only reassurance was probably the fact that Giggs commanded the midfield far more impressively than Cleverly did.
But then again, the word 'command' would give the impression that results were actually forthcoming, when this is certainly not the case.
So this aside, we were all hoping and praying that the January transfer window would come to our rescue, right?
The media had once again been very active in throwing around some world class names, including the likes of Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Vidal, Marchisio and former United academy graduate and 'now Juventus superstar' Paul Pogba.
Given the situation that United were in, it was obvious to everyone that the center of midfield would indeed be what Moyes would be looking to strengthen.
Either of these players, however unlikely, would certainly inject some much needed quality in midfield for United, something which had been lacking for many seasons now, even under the great Sir Alex.
But alas, news of Moyes' pursuit of Chelsea outcast Juan Mata broke, and the media caught to it like wildfire.
Mata had slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge under returning Manager Jose Mourinho, and this had alerted Moyes of his possible availability.
Surely Chelsea wouldn't sell to a title rival. Who am I kidding, a title rival? We sat in 7th place in the table, in agony. Anyone who still considered United as a title rival by January is in obvious denial.
Juan Mata had been a revelation for Chelsea during the past two seasons, but Mourinho did not hesitate in having him start from the bench.
In a World Cup year, a player of Mata's quality would undoubtedly want as many minutes as possible, and this is what exactly led to the most stunning transfer in January.
Mata signed for United for a club record 37.1 million pounds, providing new hope among United fans, players and management alike.
With the purchase of Mata, the prospect of the destruction that would occur when he linked up with Rooney and RVP was absolutely mouth watering.
With the drool wept aside however, how was Mata going to be used? We already had Kagawa, who is similar to Mata, and he had struggled to get playing time.
Like Kagawa, Mata's favoured position is that which is currently occupied by the indispensable Wayne Rooney.
While Mata would confess that he would simply be happy to be on the pitch, at what cost?
We have watched Kagawa's outstanding talent be wasted from playing out wide, so how would it be different with Mata?
It is hard to imagine that Rooney would voluntarily agree to play out of position to accommodate the Spanish magician.
My question then is, was Mata really the type of player required by United? This coup, in my opinion, was purely a panic buy.
A world class player became available, and Moyes pounced. Would United not have done better with a player in the list of central midfielders mentioned previously?
What point is it having possibly the best attack in the Premier League when they are not ably supported by quality in the midfield?
The glamour which came with the Mata signing accomplishes only one thing, it papers over the most glaring of cracks in the Man United team.
But of course, you may paper over the cracks, but papering will certainly not cause them to disappear.
Mata's arrival also brought with it a level of content, and that could prove to be decisive in determining the fate of United this season.
The purchase of Mata can accomplish one of two things; It can either be the spark that revives United's season or it can be what results in United slipping further down, and missing out on Champions League and Europa League football.
Only time will tell.
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