Manchester United

Manchester United: The knock-on effects of Juan Mata signing a new contract

Manchester United: The knock-on effects of Juan Mata signing a new contract

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping he can improve on a tragic end to the 2018-19 season which saw Manchester United win just two of their final 12 games in all competitions, and preparations are already underway to make their dream revival possible.

It may not have been the most groundbreaking news in terms of a big summer arrival but the club have recently officially announced that Spanish playmaker Juan Mata has signed a contract extension to keep him at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.

We think it’s fair to say that United need to rethink their transfer policy. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and co. have all failed to reach the dizzying heights that may have been expected of them when they made their respective big money moves.

With all eyes locked on various sports columns and gossip pages, we understand and appreciate that extending the contracts of current United players is of relatively little importance to the transfer hungry Old Trafford faithful. However, there’s definitely something to be said of the three possible knock-on effects of signing Juan Mata to a new contract…

A not so ruthless summer

Although we’re only in June, what has become abundantly clear is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not embark on his ruthless rampage through the Manchester United team sheet.

While Mata seems like a likeable character; one that gives his all for the badge (which is the bare minimum expected). Indeed, by Manchester Evening News’ calculations, the little Spaniard even topped the ‘average kilometres covered per 90 minutes’ chart at 11.97km.

However, while this is all well and good, the Red Devils have largely used a 4-3-3 formation under the Norwegian, which obviously doesn’t include a natural No.10. Yes, Mata can operate as either a central midfielder or an inverted winger, but the signing of Daniel James on the right would suggest a desire to bring more speed to the attack.

The Norwegian stated his intention to be “ruthless” this summer yet so far Mata has signed a new contract, despite there not being a natural role for him.

No sign of one in one out

Pretty simple one really.

With Juan Mata set to stay for another year and beyond, it seems entirely plausible that Manchester United won’t be pursuing anyone else to take his place this window.

Whether that’s a sign of the club’s financial weakness, which is incredibly unlikely given United sit near the top of Business Insider’s rich list, or Ed Woodward’s unwillingness to spend in the market – something that is becoming increasingly apparent as he haggles over the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka – it all comes back to one thing: United might be one suitable man short on their big project back to the top.

Squad depth

Something positive now.

Manchester United are facing a slog next year with games in the notoriously lengthy Europa League on top of the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup. That’s a maximum of 66 gruelling games if the club play their cards right.

If anything, Juan Mata, 31, will provide experience and support throughout the fixtures as a very capable squad player who has won it all and can step in when necessary. In turn, this should allow regular starters priceless periods of rest to recuperate and rejuvenate as they prepare for what many might consider the most important competition for the Red Devils at the moment, the Premier League.

Manchester United fans, do you agree with our predictions? How do you feel about Mata signing a new contract? Let us know in the comments below…

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