After being Chelsea’s Player of the Year in each of his two full season’s with the club, it was much to everyone’s surprise when it was announced in January 2014 that Juan Mata was moving to Manchester United for £37 million after being deemed surplus to requirements by the then new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
With Manchester United struggling under David Moyes, the signing of Mata was designed to inspire the faltering United team to hit some sort of consistent form and challenge for a top four place come the end of the season. Although the signing of the Spaniard rejuvenated the hopes of United fans, it soon became clear that Mata wasn’t a magician and despite putting in some impressive displays, he failed to get fully up and running for the remainder of the season.
Fast forward two years and Mata is in some of the best form of his life in an ever improving Red Devils team. He has finally established the form he displayed at Chelsea and has cemented his role as one of United’s most important and influential players. After scoring 10 goals in all competitions last season, he already has 4 this time around as well as providing three assists.
With Mata thoroughly enjoying his football at the present time, he told a Spanish newspaper this week about his satisfaction with life in Manchester and how happy he is to be living in a “very happy” and “normal” city.
Mata added: “The best thing about living in Manchester is that it has a very ‘British’ atmosphere, very English. There are galleries, museums, good restaurants – The only downside is the weather. I adapted really well because I had already lived in London. Now I’ve spent five years in England and it’s gone really quickly.”
The former Valencia man, who has this week been involved in European Qualifying action with Spain also said that he has no plans to return home anytime soon.
“It only seems like yesterday when I was in Valencia. I’m really happy with how it’s all turned out. I am very happy in Manchester. I have the feeling that I have only just arrived and I’ve got a lot of things I want to do.”
Currently valued on Football INDEX at just £2.50 there is a sense that if the United number 8 keeps performing at such a high level, then his price is likely to rocket during a time were he hopes to lead his team back to former glories – starting this season.