Juan Mata got a rare start for Man Utd against Leicester, it was his first start since November, and likely signals the end of a great 7-year career with Man Utd.
It was a tough game for any playmaker, it would have been nice to see him with a heavier starting XI side, playing with an assured defense and hard workers like Fred and Scott McTominay.
With the next likely opportunity to start or feature against Fulham next week, Juan Mata likely started his last game against Leicester City on Tuesday evening.
Juan Mata‘s future is up in the air, it was reported in April that Mata might have a contract extension triggered by United, it was also speculated/reported that he was set to leave on a free in the summer.
Having Mata at the club would be useful for the younger players, acting as a mentor and playing cup games or in games where rotation of the squad is needed is what Mata has been assigned to this season. If he does stay it is likely that would be his role in the squad next year.
If he does go, United would clear up his wages and pay a younger player could take his squad spot, someone like Hannibal Mejbri could be that player, but he might still need some time.
Juan Mata’s Career At Man Utd
Juan Mata signed for Manchester United from Chelsea on a then record fee of €46 million on January 24th, 2014.
Mata was pivotal when United won the FA Cup in the 2015-2016 season, he leveled the game at 1-1 after Crystal Palace took a shock lead, United would win 2-1 on the day.
Mata also was an important player during the 2016-2017 campaign where United won the Europa League and League Cup, Mata started in the 2-0 victory over Ajax in the final.
Juan Mata scored 50 goals and 47 assists in 271 appearances across all competitions for United. The magician has 157 assists for Chelsea, Valencia and Manchester United combined.
The playmaker had an underrated career at United at time where United have not been as successful as some of their more historic sides. The ‘Post Sir Alex Ferguson’ era has not been kind to United but Mata has played well and deserves a sending off from the club if he is to leave.
A standing ovation from the fans would be fitting and might even lure him to stay. Edinson Cavani’s yearning to play for the United fans was part of the decision making for him staying, and a fat contract.
Whatever Mata decides to do is what he thinks is best for his future and we wish him well. It was great watching his career in England and for Manchester United.