The main talking point for English Premier League this week has got to be the impending transfer of Spanish playmaker, Juan Mata from Chelsea to rival, Manchester United. The impact of such transfer has over-shadowed the dreadful penalty shoot-out between Sunderland and Manchester United in League Cup semi-final and the controversy surrounding West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka, who was charge by FA England for allegedly performing a ‘quenelle‘ gesture during a Premier League game last month.
Player Of The Year
It is not often that a player move from one club in the Premier League to another club that is a direct rival in the competition, let alone, a player of Juan Mata stature, who was Chelsea’s ‘Player of The Year‘ TWICE in 2012 and 2013.
Therefore, many people are questioning the rationale behind it,especially the timing of the transfer which took after Chelsea has played United home and away this season and therefore won’t face their rival again until the following season. Arsene Wengner for example was critical about the transfer as he feels that Chelsea are sending Mata to United to help strenghten David Moyes’ side in a hope that The Red Devils will defeat Arsenal and City in the coming month which in turn will help Chelsea win the English Premier League.
Such theory was rubbished by Daily Mail‘s sports columnist, Martin Samuel who argued that if Juan Mata can help Manchester United beat Arsenal and Manchester City, why not keep him at Stamford Bridge?
Chelsea are also to play Arsenal and City. He wrote “If Mata is capable of beating Manchester City and Arsenal with United, then surely he could do the same with Chelsea – who play City on February 3 and Arsenal on March 22“
Jose Doesn’t Need Juan Mata?
Then again, Jose Maurinho does not need Mata. In spite of his talent, he is a misfit in Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 system. Like Romelu Lukaku, he might work well with other team such as United and help cause problem to Chelsea’s main title contenders this season which are Arsenal and Manchester City.
I’m pretty sure Maurinho had this in mind even though the decision to loan out Lukaku and selling Mata could be purely based on other reason.
It is interesting to note that Jose Maurinho wasted no time since Mata deal was announced by the media by snapping Liverpool’s target, FC Basle’s Mohamed Salah for £11 million. That will put a blow to The Reds’ title ambition and leave Maurinho with only Arsenal and Manchester City to think of.
It is not the first time Maurinho did this.
In his first stint at Chelase, he signed Arjen Robben and Michael Essien right under the nose of Manchester United.
At the moment only few people at United and Chelsea can answer why Mata was allowed to move to Old Trafford. Was it for money, tactic or perhaps to comply with FFP rules? . There has also been suggestion that Rooney will be allowed to move to Stamford Bridge under this arrangement but such theory could be quickly thrown out of the window especially with reports emerging today that Wayne Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford was at United’s Carrington training base on Wednesday and has been locked in talks with Manchester United’s chief executive Ed Woodward over a new deal for the England star.
So, what will Mata bring to Manchester United? I think it is fair to say that despite his talents, he is not a player that many fans hope for as the problems with United lies more in the defence and midfield rather than in the attack. Up front, United was bit weakened because their dynamic duo Ronney and Robin Van Persie have missed a huge chunk of games this season.
But the two should be available starting next week and together with Januzaj, they will form a spendid partnership.
However, when you bring a ‘marquee’ signing, the impact will not just on the field. As ex-United’s captain, Gary Neville rightly point out, the signing of Mata can help lift the gloom and bloom at Old Trafford. The spirit and confidence will be increased, thus the performance level from all players will be up as well.
Fans will also get buoy with the new arrival and the manager will have more attacking options at his disposal. It’s the side effect that will matter as shown at Arsenal when they signed Mesut Ozil.
David Moyes must have learned something from that.
Overall, as much as I hate to admit this, I must confess that Manchester United really performed poorly during the League Cup semis against Sunderland last Wednesday. Therefore, there are plenty of work to be done before the club can establish itself as a force in the Premier League again. There are several more days before the January transfer window closes, So there is time left for Moyes to bring in a few more players to Manchester.
The club has shown its statement of intent by bringing world class footballer like Mata.
Now, it is time to see who else wishes to follow the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
– The Curious Case of Juan Mata: From Chelsea To Man Utd