It's already started. The summer transfer window may have only closed just over one week ago, but the rumours are already circulating regarding potential January deals. And one man that has been linked with a winter switch is Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata.
The Spaniard, of course, was the biggest name to move on in January of this year, but will he really be on the lookout for a new club again in the coming months? Well, according to recent reports, he could make a £30 million move to Italian outfit Juventus.
Too early to judge
Juan Mata could be about to endure a nightmare couple of months at Old Trafford, but he could excel in Louis van Gaal's new look Manchester United team. It's been suggested - far too early - that Mata will move down the pecking order at the Theatre of Dreams, following the arrivals of Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria and Co. but anything could happen in the coming games.
Van Gaal could drop Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Mata. Or he could leave out Di Maria, Adnan Januzaj and Radamel Falcao. You have to think - with the array of talent at Van Gaal's disposal - places are really up for grabs at Old Trafford.
There's no indications, though, that Mata will be immediately dropped form Van Gaal's plans. In fact, the Spanish playmaker has been a key member of his side in the opening weeks of the season.
It can even be argued that Van Gaal went out his way to fit Mata in his team by implementing the 3-5-2 system. It's clear, then, that Van Gaal rates the Spaniard and has plans for him.
But, as has been suggested, it won't be so easy for Mata at United with some of the star names already at Old Trafford. Of course, he will have to fight hard and work for his place in the team, but so will the rest of his teammates.
Mata will get opportunities in the coming weeks and he just has to take them. Simple. Before Jose Mourinho's arrival at Chelsea he excelled as the main man at Stamford Bridge, winning the club's Player of the Year award. He's a proven star in England's elite division.
And there's no reason why the arrivals of Falcao and Di Maria won't prove to be the making of Juan Mata in a Manchester United shirt. When playing with Van Persie and Rooney, the Spanish ace has struggled at times. After all, the paring aren't the quickest, and Mata thrives on players making runs ahead of him.
With Di Maria, Falcao and even Januzaj on the pitch, Mata could - and should - find his best from again. The double signing could in fact give Mata a new lease of life, and Manchester United fans may finally see the best out of the man they signed from Chelsea.
Writing in his blog, Mata said: “Almost at the end of the transfer window we had a new signing.
“Not just a player, but a fantastic striker whose ability to score is extraordinary: Radamel Falcao.
“I am sure he will give a lot to our group, as a person and with his goals, and here I welcome him and I wish him the best for this season.”
The signing of Falcao, then, excites Mata and he doesn't seem fazed by the attacking stars purchased by the new regime at Old Trafford. And why should he? Mata must be excited to play with these stars. He must be excited to play in a confident team firing on all cylinders.
He's yet to experience that at Old Trafford since his arrival. The club have taken one step forward and two step backs over the course of the last year and that hasn't helped Mata settle in Manchester.
If United get back to their best, then so can Mata.
And why would Mata want to leave the Premier League anyway? He will surely be ready to prove his doubters wrong and excel in England once again over the coming years.
There's no way he will want to give up on his Old Trafford career for a move to Juventus just yet.
Mata can fit the Manchester United system. In a 4-3-3, he could play as one of the three central-midfielders, in the attacking role. And in the 3-5-2, he could play behind either of Van Persie, Rooney or Falcao.
Di Maria could slot into midfield - like he did against Burnley - whilst Januzaj could even play at wing-back. Van Gaal may only have to leave out one of Falcao, Rooney, Januzaj, Mata, Di Maria and Van Persie. Even if he left out two, four out of his super six are likely to be on the field at any given time.
The other two may well come on from the bench and look to change things when called upon. Van Gaal can mix things up - he can change his system, and he can change his personal.
Of course, he can't play them all. And, with United out of the Champions League, there won't be as many games for the manager to utilise his top stars, but the Dutchman will work it out. He will know when to play different teams against certain opponents. That's why Manchester United are paying his wages.
Van Gaal will be determined to forget the disastrous start to this season and get his team back to their ultimate best. Starting this weekend against QPR, the new United will look to get the club back to where it belongs. It's an exciting time for all at Manchester United - including Juan Mata.
Manchester United fans: Do you think you will see the best of Juan Mata this season? Do you want him to stay at your club? Have your say below!
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