Should we keep Mata?

jsp

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He's got 3 months left on his current deal and is just about to turn 31.

Current record 214 appearences 44 goals given not all of those are starts 1 in 4 isn't a bad return.

Given we pretty much all agree that Utd need another attacking player ideally a right sided one which means someone from the current squad needs to go do people think we should keep hold of Mata?

I personally think we need to let him go not because he's a bad player but I think space needs to be created in that squad and Mata is a player who even at his very best just doesn't fit in this team. I also think the kind of contract he'd be after would mean even if you gave him 2 years on current salary you'd struggle to move him on unless he fancies that move that Fellaini took to China. My concern is the club will give him a deal just to avoid letting him leave for nothing but I'm not really convinced that Ole sees him in his squad.

I actually think he'd get snapped up by a top side if we let him go but he's the sort of guy they'd take on a free but wouldn't really pay a fee for he could easily slip into a top European sides squad especially back in Spain.

If he was to leave and a new specialist right sided attacker came in I think the squad is stronger and we'd still have space for young players like Chong and Greenwood to get some game time next season.

For a guy who's always kind of been a square peg in a round hole he's done a good job for Utd and helped provide some big moments that helped us win trophies in the post Fergie era but I always felt he was an Arsenal player not a Utd player pretty on the eye but not the ruthless killer you needed to survive at Utd.
 

IDFD

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It's a difficult one. I really like him but again I don't think he really fits in to the squad in a 4-3-3. He's never really been that right winger and wasted his career being forced out there for us. He wants to play centrally and I think because of his lack of minutes and the fact he's never relied on pace he's probably still got a good 3 years in him for whatever club he goes to next.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him either stay in England at a club like Tottenham or Wolves or end up back at Valencia. But wherever he goes we'll wish him well. Top lad. Along with Herrera.

Would it be a surprise to see them join the same club?
 

IDFD

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Just looking at his career be nice for him to go back to one of the big two in Spain and win the league.

He's got

U19's Euro's
U21's Euro's
Euro's
World Cup
Spanish Cup
FA Cup
League Cup
Europa League
Champions League

All those cups but he's never won a league title.
 

jsp

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The move away from 4-2-3-1 back to 4-3-3 over the last few years really hurts a player like Mata because defensively he's a bit of a liability so in the PL he doesn't have the physical requirements to play in a midfield in the 4-3-3 system and he doesn't have the explosive pace required for the front 3. His career can basically be summed up as being a slightly worse version of David Silva both came through Valencia but while Silva was a starter for Spain and City sides that have to an extent dominated Mata has always been on the fringe. He's like a David Silva tribute band haha not quite as good as the real thing but still puts on a good show.

I think at his age he needs a lot to be built around him so maybe somewhere like Valencia would be a good fit where he could potentially guide the younger players they're trying to develop and sell on. I think for Mata to shine you need to be a side who in the majority of the games is playing on the front foot and dominates the ball which is why his best spell for Utd probably came under LVG because defensively he didn't have lots of work to do and he could provide cutting edge in the final third.

As for joining up with his mate Herrera could easily see them both ending up at PSG who need midfield reinforcements and maybe in that team in France they could have him in a midfield 3 but not sure he really fits the Tuchel style. PSG could probably do with an injection of mr nice guy Juan Mata because lets be honest everyone pretty much hates them.
 

Sideshow Bob

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No, for me. How often does he have a major influence in games? Players from the youth set up should take his place in the squad.
 

Mr C

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I think it depends on him.

I would keep him if he was happy with the role he has.

I think he has his uses and also is very for good for team spirit etc. He would make an excellent ambassador in the future. And I like him.
 

jsp

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I think it depends on him.

I would keep him if he was happy with the role he has.

I think he has his uses and also is very for good for team spirit etc. He would make an excellent ambassador in the future. And I like him.
I'm not sure any player who isn't playing regularly is good for team spirits Mata seems a lovely guy but football is a cold business players need to know if you're not cutting it you are out the door Utd needs to be a ruthless place again.

You only really have space for 22 outfield players in your squad and that's a maximum most coaches want less than that because keeping 22 players happy when you can only start 10 every game is very hard unless you are on a massive winning streak.

Players have to go to make space for new ones otherwise nothing will change and for me Mata falls into that category, ideally you'd sell him to make some money for new players but some players need to go for free.
 

Mr C

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I think he offers us something no other player in the squad can.

If we're down in a close match and need to open a defence he's the player. I don't mean stick him out onthe wing. Drop him in behind. He's useful in my view.
 

jsp

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I can see your point but surely Pogba, Periera, Lingard, Rashford etc should be fulfilling that role maybe even Gomes stepping up.

I see him as a guy who's nice to have around but we don't need to have him because if we buy another top quality attacking player for the front 3 we shouldn't need him as this plan B option. He's not going to be cheap on his current wages you are looking at £7-8m a year if you're smart you can probably get a starter for that as that's probably what Liverpool are paying players like Mane and Salah.
 

SuperRash

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I think he’ll end up going for free. Would be nice getting some money for him but sometimes it’s not to be.

He has been a great professional and has provided some moments of sheer brilliance (goal vs Liverpool at Anfield comes to mind) but it’s time for him to move on I would say. He seems like a proper nice decent guy but we can’t keep him just because he’s a nice guy. If he does stay then he wouldn’t disappoint when called upon but I feel Ole is going to go the young and hungry player route now.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Barcelona want to sign Mata on a free transfer, according to Martin Lipton of The Sun.
 

RichH2016

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Simply put... No we shouldn't keep him. He's not a fit for the way Ole wants to play and he's getting on in his career. He's been a really good player for us and he's a fantastic football player but it's time to move on. When he plays now I feel he hinders the team because he's got no pace.
 

RichH2016

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So he's being offered a new deal to stay? What the hell is with this club and giving new deals to guys who aren't a fit. Jesus it drives me mad.
 

jsp

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So he's being offered a new deal to stay? What the hell is with this club and giving new deals to guys who aren't a fit. Jesus it drives me mad.
My guess is they're hoping to give him a 2 year deal then sell him in January/next summer to recover some money on him like they did with Fellaini last summer.

The truth is it's a lack of forward planning/management has created a culture where players are happy to sit on long contracts rather than leave to play regular football, average players are earning way above their true market value in salary and the club aren't prepared to make the tough decisions.

A lot probably depends on what they're offering he certainly shouldn't be getting a pay rise if anything it should be a pay cut but if Mata decides to stay I'd have to questions his ambition because he knows he won't be a starter why stay?
 

Mr C

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I like Mata, he's a luxury for sure. But we have no-one like him in the squad. I would keep him assuming he wages were reasonable. I would have brought him on last night too,.
 

jsp

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I like Mata, he's a luxury for sure. But we have no-one like him in the squad. I would keep him assuming he wages were reasonable. I would have brought him on last night too,.
I think you can make this case for most players but Utd have to be cut throat we can't just keep people we need to restore the ruthless winning culture that used to pump through the club I don't see a place for luxury at the moment. I always felt Mata was an arsenal player not a Utd player pretty player but not a cut throat killer and that was the difference between us and them for a long time.

I to like Mata but I think he is declining he's getting slower and that is a problem especially in a team that wants to break quickly I just don't see the point in keeping him let him go and bring in players who can do what he does and also more.
 

boothstownred

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I have always been a big mata fan both as player and person. I just don't see where he fits into this team. Better to let him go and get the sort of players in we need, and let's be honest there are plenty needed.
 

Mr C

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That game last night was crying out for Mata. Lukaku ineffective, Rashford wasteful and forceful, we should have dropped him in behind Rashford to add a little bit of class and knowledge. He would have been a cool head and maybe helped us calm down a bit in the final third.

In fact, he would have been an improvement on our RB :)

Herrera yes, I can see us replacng him quite easily, there aren't many players like Mata, he's only 30 isn't he? I would keep him for sure if the wages weren't silly.
 

jsp

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I think Mata thrives in a team that dominates possession and at his best he could provide that spark in a slow build up attack to suddenly open things up but I don't know if he has that anymore.
 

jsp

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Still think the club should be looking to move on but can see the value in having a good character like him around the club for another year if we are going for a big overhaul but if he wants a huge pay rise to stay one more year then I'm not sure we should be doing that.
 

SuperRash

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That’s fine. He’s not going to be a definite starter but he’s definitely not the worst to have as a squad player. He’s also a great professional and has buckets of experience. Also it’s a bonus we didn’t let him go for free after losing Herrera for nothing.
 

Mr C

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I know I'm in the minority, but I'm glad he signed. Not a starter, but offers something else, and will be good in the long term, I see him as a potential coach.
 

IDFD

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Ahh I’m happy enough with him staying. He’s a good squad player.
 

Sideshow Bob

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I will be disappointed by the decision if we don’t see a few attacking players leave.
 

jsp

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If Lukaku and Sanchez are going then I understand keeping him as not everyone can go but I still think he should have been let go with money invested in the forward line.

Never really fit in at the club like him as a person but as a player think he makes us play to slow and isn’t physical enough to be a Utd player.

Still feel he was a waste of money.
 

RichH2016

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No we shouldn't keep him. We are but we shouldn't. He doesn't fit here and doesn't have a position in this team. Ok so this way we get a transfer fee for him at some point but that's a poor strategy.
 

Mr C

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I like Mata and I have a strange feeling he will be with the club beyond playing, I have a gut feeling he's going to be a good coach.
 

jsp

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Mata's a nice guy he's hard not to like as a person but his best years are behind him and his playing style doesn't fit with our playing style and I'd argue apart from under LVG it's never fit with the style of our managers since he came in.

He's been a bit of a square peg in round holes for us.

The suggestion is he's extended his contract with a minimal salary increase Utd can't just keep spending and spending and spending so he's a position that needs strengthening but it's not an immediate problem to solve.

If we are going to play some younger players in Europa League he might be a good player to put in with them so they have a bit of experience around them.

I'm not gutted he's staying but I'm not particularly bothered either it's nice to have him as backup but I'd hope we won't see to much of him and my guess is they've renewed him with the hope of selling him like they did with Fellaini last summer.
 

Mr C

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I don't think he'll start many games, but in team of what appears to be young players we are building, sometimes you need a wise cool head to come on.
 

jsp

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Story going round that he’s taken a pay cut to stay.
 

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