Having discarded the Spaniard at Chelsea, it seems Jose Mourinho is now a massive fan of Juan Mata.
While the majority of Manchester United fans and players looked forward to Jose Mourinho taking the reigns at Old Trafford last summer, Juan Mata must have felt his time was up at the club having previously been deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea and sold to one of their biggest rivals by the same Mourinho.
It has however gone the other way and Mata has rose to the challenge of proving to Mourinho he can be the player he needs him to be, and Saturday’s showing against Watford showed why exactly the Mourinho and Mata relationship has healed and is only going to get better.
Speaking after the game, as reported in the Daily Mail, Mourinho said:
‘When I came here people thought Mata was in trouble but I knew he wouldn’t be in trouble,’
‘One thing was the football I wanted my Chelsea to play and the other thing I want my Manchester United to play.
‘Mata has adapted to the football I want to play. I knew since the beginning he would be an important player.
‘I think he feels that confidence in me, that confidence in the game we want to try to play. So he is happy. He is happy on the pitch and you can see it the way he plays.’
Mata has been crucial to the recent run of results that see’s Manchester United unbeaten in 16 games in the Premier League although they struggle to escape the 6th place spot with their run of draws in the earlier part of the campaign now hurting their chances of reaching the top four.
However the signs are that the jigsaw is finally starting to come together under Mourinho at Old Trafford with the club now focusing on their triple cup assault as they restart their Europa League campaign with back to back games against St Etienne, they then visit Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup on Sunday and have a trip to Wembley at the end of the month when they will play Southampton in the EFL Cup final.
Juan Mata has emerged as a crucial part of the Manchester United revival and if former Manager David Moyes is to be praised for anything during his time at the club, the signing of the Spaniard will be it.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena