In the past one week, several football pundits have given their opinions on Juan Mata’s situation at Manchester United. The Spaniard, who signed for United last season from Chelsea for a reported fee of £37.1m, has struggled to cement his place in Louis van Gaal’s first team, and therefore critics have raised the concern whether he should make a move elsewhere.
Although he has made seven league starts already, clocking 604 mins of action; the Spaniard is mainly seen as a second fiddle to Wayne Rooney in the side. Put it simply, there is no place for Mata in the first team, when Rooney is fully fit. He may produce virtuoso performance, can win you matches (against Crystal Palace, though it was his first winner in 47 matches for Chelsea, United & Spain) but the harsh truth is Rooney will get the nod ahead of him.
Writing for Daily Mail, football pundit Jamie Redknapp opines that for a player of Mata’s caliber, he doesn’t deserve the role of super-sub and that he could be better off leaving Manchester United. Mind, it is Jamie’s personal opinion only.
Mata has always shown great professionalism throughout his career and he is happy to perform what-ever role his manager asks him to carry out. The Spaniard expressed his joy after his winner against Palace in his personal blog claiming it was an important goal for him & the team.
Let me ask one question here: Are you getting any hint that Manchester United want to sell Juan Mata? Or that the player is unhappy at the club?
I suppose, NO is the answer. Well, wait, another Jamie…Jamie Anderson of The Daily Express thinks so. He claims Manchester United are “preparing” to offload Juan Mata in the January transfer window for £20m.
“According to Spanish reports Louis van Gaal has yet to witness Mata justify his £37.1m price-tag, and is prepared to try an recoup some of his sizeable transfer fee in January.
Juventus and Atletico Madrid are two of a number of European clubs interested in prizing the tricky attacking midfielder away from Manchester, and certainly have the financial muscle to make the deal happen.
The fact that United are willing to lose £17.1m on a player they signed a mere eleven-months ago reflects Mata’s difficulty in acclimatising to Van Gaal’s demands.”
Since, Express has mentioned that they got the information from “Spanish report”, we couldn’t help but do some quick research on it.
We checked almost all the major media outlets in Spain including Fichajes, a common transfer source for British tabloids. But, we found nothing on this story.
Spanish newspaper Marca on 9th however published an opinion piece, written by Juan Castro, where he wrote about the lack of game time Mata and Ander Herrera facing at United. He says how young Adnan Januzaj being favoured ahead of Mata, but there was no such report on transfer.
And if you’re wondering how Express got the info on interests from Juventus & Atletico Madrid; they’ve just recycled an old article – check here.
That leads us into two possible conclusions:
a) Express may have got the story from Spanish source that we are not aware of. Despite going through as many as 10-12 Spanish sources, it can happen that we’ve missed out on something which they’ve spotted.
b) It is once again a poor attempt of fabricating a story. Two opinion articles on Mata published within two days, both hinting that he has been badly misused & that he could better off elsewhere – has been given a transfer slant with ridiculous price being quoted. Imagination at its very best.
And knowing the reputation of British tabloids, pardon us if we harbour doubt over the veracity of this story as well.