In my opinion, this is one of the right decision made by Manchester united this season. From a long term investment perspective, this is one of the intelligent move and perhaps, with patience , Mata can prove to be a worthy asset.
Few interesting insights, I learned about Mata :
a) Juan Mata was directly involved in 33.3% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals last season, more than any other player
b) Since the start of last season(2013), Juan Mata has made more passes in the final third (423) than Robin van Persie & Shinji Kagawa combined (353)
c) Since 2010, Juan Mata has won the FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League, European Championship and World Cup. EPL, the only one missing.
His character will become very handy to united, specifically during those crucial last 5 minutes, during key games. His intelligence with/without the ball is very unique, when compared with other key players in the united squad. Whilst, every player will have their uniqueness, Mata as a character with his free role behind the striker will be great strength.
This is the transformation, united needs. Van Persie coming on, Rooney supporting, Mata being the feeder, it will be a great to watch for all united fans.
Whilst Chelsea has every reason to say, why this transaction is the right decision for them, fans know the sale of Mata (GBP 35 million) is not for money. Chelsea is not a team, which is in financial difficulty to sell their key player in form to their title challengers. And also not because, Manchester united wanted Mata. Jose Mourinho, doesn’t see Mata fitting in this 4-3-3 and play as an attacking mid-field. Mourinho always prefer a winger who is pacy, agile and tall, who can provide that incisive crosses and headers.
Mourinho clearly preferred Oscar being the no 10 player for Chelsea and Hazard playing on left, Schurrle on right with Diego Costa as their main striker. The new formation is chelsea is built around Costa’s strengths and sweet spots.
Mata being a different player, was not used well in Mourinho’s squad.
Man Utd saw that opportunity and took Mata in a hollywood style, bringing him into old trafford in a helicopter 😉 for a fee of GBP 37.1 million. Is this a best move for Mata, perhaps yes, but is this the same for Man Utd, only time can say.
Louis Van Gaal, the new manager for the red devils, will clearly use him as a no 10, making the game more fluid and influencing ‘total football’ approach. He will like Mata’s play and will make him shine there.