New Manchester United coach, Jose Mourinho thinks that Spaniard Juan Mata is flourishing in United under him regardless of the differences between Mourinho and Mata when they last paired for Chelsea. The Portuguese believes this is because of the ‘big differences’ in playing style of United and Chelsea.
The Spanish midfielder represented Chelsea for two years between 2011 and 2013, winning the Champions League and FA Cup. Mata also won Chelsea’s Best Player of the Season award for two seasons in a row.
Regardless of the 28-year-olds outstanding form at the Stamford Bridge, he was not part of Mourinho’s plan when the Portuguese took over Chelsea in the 2013-14 Premier League season and was ultimately sold to Manchester United for £37m halfway through the season.
It was speculated that Juan Mata will head away from the Old Trafford after Mourinho joined the Red Devils this summer, but the Spaniard has prospered under Mourinho for United becoming a vital player for the team.
Prior to Manchester United’s Europa League clash against Zorya Luhansk, United’s head coach spoke about the difference between playing styles of United and his former club, Chelsea:
“There are big differences.
“In Man United I have no players to play transitional football as the main objective. We are not so physically strong and compact like we [Chelsea] were playing in a defensive block when we won the title in 2014/15.
“We [United] are in the beginning of that process, but the football we want to play here is different and I think it is very adapted to his [Mata’s] qualities. We need players with his qualities, so I think he found a very good natural habitat for his football to play with us.”
“My idea of football with the squad I had at Chelsea and the objectives we had at Chelsea is one thing but the football I want to play at Man United, the profile of my squad and what I want to try to do in this club is a completely different situation.
“So I think Juan in my project at Chelsea was a good player and in my project at Man United he is a very good player.”