A look back at Juan Mata: Did Mourinho's gamble pay off?
Mata’s sale to Manchester United raised a few eyebrows, but in the end it seemed like a win-win-win situation. Mata would get his playing time which would aid in his bid to fly to Brazil, United would get a world-class player, and Chelsea would, hopefully, use a stronger United to take some points off their title challengers.
Close to 3 months after that mega-transfer, it looks more like a lose-lose-lose. Mata has been unable to have an Ozil-esque effect on United’s limping campaign, lost his place in the Spanish national team and United lost 3-0 to both City and Liverpool. What looked like a promising transfer has not turned out quite as planned. But who stood to gain (or lose) the most from this transfer? And why hasn’t Mourinho’s gamble paid off? We take a look at how this transfer has turned out for each of the 3 parties involved:
Missing out on the final Spanish squad before the preliminary World cup squad is named certainly isn’t ideal for him, and considering the huge competition for a place on that plane to Brazil, Mata may not have enough time left to impress Vicete Del Bosque. His lack of playing time in the start of the season at Chelsea saw him leave for United, and even though he has found minutes much easier to come by at Old Trafford, his disappointing individual season will definitely hamper his chances of going to the World Cup.
With Diego Costa swearing his allegiance to the “La Roja”, it very likely means that there is one less spot for Mata to fight for. And by the look of how things are going, it seems very unlikely that he will be able to kick one of Koke, Thiago, Martinez, Cazorla or Silva out of the national side.
Well, where do we start. Mourinho’s vision of a Mata-inspired United demolishing Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City certainly hasn’t materialized, and the man the pushed Juan Mata out of the team isn’t performing nearly as well as at the start of the season. Oscar’s imperious form at the start of the season hasn’t replicated in the business end of it, and it may be costing Chelsea the Premier League or Champions League crowns considering that our other creative spark, Eden Hazard, is out injured.
Mourinho’s gamble certainly is backfiring against Chelsea, and one might just wonder if Mata could have filled those creative boots and pick up crucial wins over Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland.
They bought a ready made play-maker, full of talent and potential, raring to go after 6 months in exile, yet Moyes never really understood how to utilize this man. Playing him on the right wing was never going to work out, and despite constantly being United’s best player since his move, his performances have been left wanting, and its probably down to the manager rather than the player.
Now, with Ryan Giggs (and possibly Van Gaal after June) in charge, United must hope that their manager finds the world-class player hidden in their 37-million pound player again.
Well, thats the end of my article. Hope you enjoyed it! #ktbffh