Fake Eric Cantona

Juan Mata – What this deal means for Man United

Created on Jan. 29, 2014 7:14 PM EST

37M£. That was how much Man Utd agreed to pay for Juan Mata. Juan Mata was the best midfielder in the Prem before Jose returned. That’s to say, Juan Mata, who is only 25 years old right now, was the best midfielder last year. And this year, mysteriously relegated to the bench.
By most accounts, Mata was relegated as a message to the rest of the team. Similar to the prison scenario of taking down the biggest inmate, Jose entered the gulag, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and he took down Mata, who was not really the biggest player, but a player who was the future of the team. Mourinho basically said “no.” Funny that Mata was a Real Madrid youth product. Typical Mourinho.

Juan Mata was one of the last great Valencia players sold off from the great mistake. Not too long ago, Valencia decided to make a new stadium, in order to keep up with the rest of the top teams. In fairness, this is a normal and right decision to make for any major club, and Valencia’s fan could still remember playing in the Champions League finals. And Valencia started this endeavor right before the economic collapse that crippled every corner of the map. So Valencia tried hard to stay afloat. Results were difficult under Koeman, so they brought in Unai Emery. Emery was great, and delivered results, but the team couldn’t balance books. David Silva had to be sold. Then David Villa. Jaoquin left. And Mata as well. Somewhere in there Vicente left, but he was as injured as he was talented. Mata was a cornerstone of a Valencia that, despite being strapped for cash, still pushed for the 3rd place on the Liga table. Even when Silva and Villa left, Mata guided them to wins.

As a Chelsea player, his only real failure was that he did not convert Fernando Torres back into a goal scoring threat. Mata scored where Torres would not. Manchester United may expect a different Mata. They may expect the Mata that played behind David Villa in Valencia, as Mata would be providing service for Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie. If that turns out the case, then the £37m would be well spent.

In brief, the Juan Mata deal means that Arsenal, who have to face Manchester United within a few weeks, now have to make a big move in order to get Julian Draxler onto their side.
The league title is Arsenal’s to lose. If they want to win, they have to make moves now while they have the chance. Notice that Manchester fielded an offer of 37m £ for a player that was untested over the current season. For all we know Mata could be crocked. Mata could be out of form, Mata could be a bust. But Manchester United paid big money to get him.

The time for negotiating great deals is over, and Arsenal have to table an offer that is equal to what Manchester United fielded for Mata if they mean to win a trophy this season. There was a rumor that Arsenal has tabled an offer for €40mil for Draxler, but nothing more has developed from that. Arsenal need to make this happen. And considering the result against Southampton, now, more than ever.
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