Steve Nicol bizarrely thinks Mata wouldn’t suit United…
Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol doesn’t think Chelsea star Juan Mata would fit at Manchester United, reports ESPN.
The Spanish playmaker has been mooted as a United target in any Wayne Rooney to Chelsea swap-deal, but Nicol believes the Premier League champions would reject the player on the basis that Mata wouldn’t fit their style.
“Mata at Manchester United – does he fit in? For me, he doesn’t. The reason he’s not going to play at Chelsea is because when he loses the ball he doesn’t do enough defensively. I don’t see that changing at Manchester United,” said the Scot.
“Whether its Welbeck, whether its Rooney, when they don’t have the ball, they work hard defensively,” Nicol added.
Regardless of Mata’s defensive shortcomings, few would argue that his attacking threat and creativity more than makes up for it. The Spanish playmaker has been voted Chelsea’s Player of the Season for the past two years, and was at his mercurial best last term, scoring 12 and assisting 17 in the Premier League alone.
When a team dominates possession and chances like United and Chelsea normally do, they can afford to include a creative player like Mata in their line-up.
On the other hand, United boss David Moyes does favour hard-working players, who put as much effort in when their side doesn’t have the ball as when they do. Mata tends to hover and float in space when Chelsea don’t have the ball, waiting for a turnover and a chance to break.