What Juan Mata to Manchester United Means.


Juan Mata completing his transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United for a reported fee of £37 million, a record fee for Utd, means many different things.  It is the biggest transfer of the January window so far and shows several things and leads to several thoughts on the matter, of which I am going to run through what the impact of this transfer will be for those involved.


Statement of Intent

The most glaring thing which the Juan Mata transfer shows, is a statement of intent from Manchester United going forward in the transfer market.  It isn’t every day that you go out and break your transfer record (unless you’re Man City or PSG) and it was more than five years ago when Dimitar Berbatov joined Utd from Spurs which that happened.  When you consider what the teams around Utd have done in that same time, it does seem incredible that the Berbatov record stood for so long.  The fact that Utd were willing to break their transfer record tells you that the board fully supports David Moyes and that they aren’t going to take finishing in the top four for granted.  The bigger question is where was this support for the manager in the summer?  This kind of signing was exactly what Utd needed to start the Moyes reign off in an electric fashion, but instead Utd bumbled through the transfer window with one blunder after another, ending in the signing of Fellaini for around £5 million more than they could have got him a month prior.  Maybe having such a poor transfer window followed by such a poor start to the season gave the board the shot in the arm which they clearly required, and that is why the signing of Juan Mata is a massive statement of intent of the board, of David Moyes and most important for Manchester United.


The Mourinho Factor

If Chelsea fans were to be honest with themselves, then they would almost all agree that they only started supporting the club after the money arrived and that Juan Mata was by far their best player.  It is classic Mourinho to come in to a club and take a big player and totally disown him, this will then lead to one of two things, either he will after months out in the cold bring the player back and make him an important part of his first team (a la David Luiz) or he will toss them aside to show the other players that nobody is safe and to keep the other players on their toes (a la Juan Mata).  It takes nuts to do this, it shows a manager who knows that he can do what he wishes and nobody will question it.  Mourinho sells his best player to one of his biggest opponents and people call it genius, if someone else did it I doubt they’d be saying the same thing.



There is no doubt that Utd were desperate for a boost, desperate for a new face in the locker room and desperate to not finish outside the top four for the first time since the inception of the Premier League, but was spending £37 million on a player in January who can’t play in one of the two competitions which you are actually left in desperation?  The answer is no.  If you had said to me in the summer that Utd would sign Juan Mata for £37 million I would have said what a great piece of business, however it is hard to ignore the fact that this season at Chelsea Mata has been very much a squad player.  Now nobody can sit and tell me that Mata isn’t an excellent player but £37 million for a reject from one of your rivals seems nothing short of desperation.  Did Utd overpay?  Yes of course they did, they needed a big signing, Mata wanted away and Chelsea wanted to get rid of him, but a fee of £30 million would have seemed more suffice given the circumstances.  When I wrote about the summer transfer window I talked about my frustrations with Utd’s lacklustre transfer dealings, and commented that sometimes you need to overpay to get the best talent; Arsenal did it with Ozil and now Utd have done it with Mata.  Desperation it is not, but rather Utd finally aligning with the current state of football’s transfer market.


What about Rooney?

I wrote about Rooney in one of my first ever blog posts, and I talked about Chelsea’s apparent offer of £10 million plus Mata or Luiz, which I then commented would be very hard to turn down if you offered £15 million plus Mata.  That of course puts Rooney’s valuation at around £52 million (I think it’s closer to £40 million) but he obviously won’t reach true value with only one year left on his contract.  With Mata joining Utd it could mean one of two things for Rooney, either he is on the way out and Mata is his replacement or this is the start of something special at Utd.  Rooney seems very temperamental when it comes to having two years left on his contract, and I personally don’t think that he deserves a raise and the captaincy but there is no doubting that he has given his all this season (something people seem to ignore about David Moyes) and if he is committed to the club then you will then have three quality attacking talents as well as one of the brightest young talents in world football who can only get better by playing with other star players.  If Rooney was an intelligent man (doubtful) he would realise that Old Trafford is the place he belongs and that David Moyes intends to build the team around him.  Do I think Rooney is going in the summer?  I now very much doubt it and fully expect him to sign a new contract at the club which would be another massive morale boost to the squad.


Did Arsenal overpay for Ozil?

At the time I said they over paid for Ozil, and the signing of Mata for £37 million shows that they clearly did.  Not only would I say that Mata is a better player than Ozil, but he also has shown that he can be one of the best players in the league something Ozil still has not.


What’s Next?

This is a two part question; what’s next in the transfer market and what’s next for David Moyes?  Both are answered in a similar manner, Utd have shown massive faith in David Moyes and are going to give him the chance (which most other clubs wouldn’t) to shine in his role.  Yes this season has been harder than I’m sure every Utd fan would have imagined, and yes the transfer dealings prior to the Mata signing were nothing short of embarrassing, but things are starting to look up.  Manchester United is a special club, and it is ironic that Juan Mata has come from the total opposite of what Manchester United is, in Chelsea.  Utd still need players, to be more exact they need at least a winger, a holding midfielder and a central midfielder, but the noises which are now being made and the targets which are now being targeted are the types of realistic and quality targets which should really have been aimed for in the summer.


To All the Idiots Out There…

Not that this has that much to do with Juan Mata signing for Utd, but if I hear one more idiot say ‘oh I knew Moyes wouldn’t fit at Utd!’ or ‘I knew that Fellaini was a donkey!’ then I might toss my laptop across the room and kick a puppy (I don’t have a dog so I’d have to go get one and I imagine by that time I would have calmed down, so no puppies were hurt in the writing of this post).  Where were all these Moyes is no good for Utd people when he was announced as the new manager?  Where were these people when everyone wanted to sign Fellaini, including Arsenal (you know that team that likes to pass the ball about)?  Yes these all-knowing voices didn’t seem to appear until it became evident that things weren’t going well.  Now there are two kinds of people in the world; those who are honest and those who aren’t.  If people are being honest then most of them would tell you that they actually thought the David Moyes appointment made sense, the problem is that most people aren’t honest and instead feel the need to make themselves feel smart by showing how brilliantly smart they are in hindsight, but hey who am I to tell people what to do?  Yes go forth all you smart internet people and propel your thoughts which you have developed in the past few minutes and legitimise them by saying ‘I’ve said this from the start…’


Anyway I think Juan Mata to Utd makes a lot of sense for all parties involved and that it will more than likely turn out to be a very good piece of business.  I think the Juan Mata signing will be the catalyst to send Utd into finishing comfortably within the top four and he adds instant quality to their squad.  So what do you think of the Juan Mata signing?  Leave a comment and share your opinion.  Plus find all the latest bm23sportsreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.


Author: bm23reviews

I watch TV and sports then write stuff.....that's about it.

18 thoughts on “What Juan Mata to Manchester United Means.”

  1. Just on the “Mata is a better player than Ozil” statement, it’s a pretty ballsy thing to say considering he hasn’t played much this season and hasn’t even kicked a ball for his new club yet!!
    And although he hasn’t set the league alight yet, Ozil still has more assists than anyone in the league – not bad going for someone who hasn’t hit his straps yet.. Most would take Ozil with his stats and the fact his team are top at the moment.

    And Mata has a two year head start over Ozil in the PL, history shows that very few foreigners start well in their first season in the PL, but are much better players in their second seasons (case in point: Giroud, Mertesacker – average first seasons, by far better second seasons)

    There’s not much between the two players (still think Chelsea are nuts to let Mata go), but time will tell if he’s a good fit for United, and can help turn things around for them.

    Overpaid? You’re having a laugh surely! Considering your lot paid/wasted 27.5 million on Fellaini that’s a bit of a interesting comment to make…



    1. Arsenal overpaid for Ozil, Utd overpaid for Mata and Utd also overpaid for Fellaini. The only one of those which is truly inexcusable is the Fellaini one because Utd could have got him for less a month earlier if they had truly wanted him.

      On the assists thing, I’m sure we can both agree that it is easier to score goals and hence create goals in La Liga than it is in the Premier League. Also we aren’t really comparing Real Madrid to what was a fairly poor Chelsea team, I mean who was he setting the goals up for? Imagine if he had a competent striker at Chelsea the last two years. Stats tell you what they want you to tell them, plus Rooney has more assists than Ozil this season anyway.


  2. Manchester United has always been one of the best football team. He did a lot with his former team Chelsea and I think playing with Manchester United will make him a much better player.


  3. Hi mate, I’m sure you really want a Chelsea fan’s opinion on this so here goes 😛 😛 From Chelsea’s point of view, I think you’ll find most of the fans disagree with selling Mata on the basis that he is a world class player. On the other hand Mourinho does not regard him as a first choice player in the squad so the best thing he could do is what he did, sell him for a large transfer fee before he spent a couple of seasons on the bench and his value dropped to 10-15 million. So as a business move it was great for us. However I personally do not agree with selling him to Man Utd specifically because even though you guys are not title contenders this season, it does not mean you will not be next year.

    Now as far as this transfer from a Man Utd point of view, I think it served the purpose of being a state of intent more than actually strengthening the squad in areas which it really needs it. What I actually mean by this is that now United have the following (in my opinion good players) to play in the three positions behind the striker: Mata, Fellaini, Kagawa, Januzai and Rooney. Not to mention the shite ones (Nani,Young Valencia). In my opinion positions such as right/left back, centre back and defensive midfielders were a higher priority. I do believe that Man Utd are a mediocre squad that won the title solely due to RVPs goals and Fergie’s presence. Now that these two elements are missing that is pretty obvious. What I mean with this is that if RVP is not healthy, while Mata is a world class player I do not believe he can get you into the top 4 this season.

    This form a Chelsea fan who was around before the money 🙂


    1. I think Utd will make top 4 because when you think about it they have played most of the season without their best players being fully fit. On paper Utd didn’t need Mata, but in reality they did because this season there has been a blatant lack of creativity in the team.

      Also is there such a thing as a Chelsea fan before the money?


    1. But more to the point, yes Man U have played all the season without their best players fully fit and they are currently 7th. So what makes you think they can make 4th under the same conditions?


      1. Well Rooney is back soon, as are Fellaini and RVP, if you then add Mata to the mix then you have what is beginning to look like a a very strong and probably confident side again. If you then combine that with the fact that both Liverpool and Everton have played well above their capabilities this season and are therefore likely to dip in the second half of the season and that Spurs are too calamitous to mount a serious challenge, then yes I think Utd will finish top four and to be honest probably above Arsenal as well.


      2. i dunno what you’re smoking but fourth is the best united will ever do this season and no way are they finishing above arsenal.


      3. We’ll see how it goes after the Arsenal game midweek, if Utd lose or draw then I think top 4 isn’t happening and they certainly won’t finish above Arsenal, if they win I think you maybe have to wonder about where Arsenal are starting to go.


      1. Well that was exactly what I was saying 🙂 If RVP and Rooney are back then yes you will make top 4, if not, I don’t think Mata can help much.


      2. It can’t be any worse than what is there just now. A team like Manchester United shouldn’t be relying on an 18 year old who has barely played 20 first team games to be the sole creative spark.


  4. No they shouldn’t…but they are 😛 I think this is not only Moyes’s fault though….To me it seems like Fergie didn’t really try and leave a squad for the future but just cared about leaving as a champion


    1. It is a combination of many things, Fergie left a squad lacking quality with very few players at their peak, Ed Woodward made an arse of the transfer window, the Glazer’s have been sucking money out of Utd for years, the players lack confidence, the players seem not to care at times and David Moyes has struggled to adapt to his new role. Moyes is a small problem, although I imagine things will get better as he learns, but the guy was given a duff hand and forced to go all in.

      The Fergie situation is funny to me because I think he has clearly left because he knew he was going to win the league last season, but even with investment he knew that City and to a lesser extent Chelsea were going to be much improved on last season. I think he wanted one more season but honestly thought that Utd wouldn’t win the league and wanted desperately to go out a winner, so he left and then all the things I mentioned above have created a situation that sees Utd almost certainly heading to their worst ever Premier League position (because they aren’t making top two).


      1. United making their worst premier league position (because they aren’t making the top THREE, we’ve been 3rd before haven’t we)? and yes there are chelsea fans before the money (this coming from a Man Utd fan).


      2. Yes Utd have been 3rd before but if Utd finished 3rd then they would still finish in their joint worst ever position. Are there Chelsea fans before the money? Because it seems that they went from having a few hundred thousands to tens of millions over night…A bit like how City fans are all from Manchester…except those who aren’t actually from Manchester…and there are more of them all of a sudden it seems.


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