Juan Mata recently signed a one-year contract extension at Man United. Now, he’s expressed his delight at remaining with the Red Devils.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United squad is a relatively young one. From Marcus Rashford to Mason Greenwood, with a little Aaron Wan-Bissaka sprinkled in the middle. In fact, there’s not many players over thirty within that dressing room.
The older statesman of the group is now Juan Mata. His contract was due to expire this summer, but United made a genuine effort to keep him around – most notably due to his experience.
In the end, the Spaniard would sign a one-year contract extension at the Theatre of Dreams. Now, the United star has reacted to putting pen to paper, admitting he feels ‘really happy’ and ‘energised’ for the new season.
“feeling really happy and excited and fresh and energised for a new season,” Mata told ManUtd.com.
“I didn’t know that it was the ninth [season] already, but time flies. Of course I’ve lived many good moments at this club, other difficult ones, but yes, I’m staying and I’m very much looking forward for what I hope will be a good season for the team and for myself.”
I think it’s fair to say that United haven’t seen the best of Mata. The attacking midfielder set the world alight at Chelsea on a consistent basis. We’ve only seen that in dribs and drabs.
That’s largely down to a positional change. And one I’ll never understand. Why Mata has consistently been forced out on the right-hand side will forever baffle me because that’s just not his game.
Credit to the Spaniard for sticking around, though. It would have been oh so easy for Mata to move elsewhere, perhaps back to his homeland, and play regular football for a mid-table La Liga club.
I am delighted he’s still around and I genuinely do hope he’s given the chance to play more. Somehow, I doubt this deal was predominantly about what he can do on the field. Rather, United are playing the long game in the hope that Mata will stick around in either a coaching or ambassadorial capacity when his playing career ends.