World Football

Manchester United Transfer News: Juan Mata, Rooney and Van Persie a Scary Trio

Juan Mata is expected to join Manchester United soon.
Juan Mata is expected to join Manchester United soon.Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 24, 2014

When Manchester United complete the signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea, they will have three attacking players comparable with anyone in the Premier League.

 

As reported by Jamie Jackson in the Guardian, Mata's move to United is currently held up, but it is in no danger of falling through:

Juan Mata's £40m transfer to Manchester United from Chelsea has been delayed. His medical may not happen now until the weekend and some work is still required for the deal to be completed.

Mata, Chelsea's Player of the Season for the last two years, seemed like the last person who would be sold following the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge.

However, the Spain international has not been given his chance and, in a World Cup year, has been allowed to move on.

The trio's Premier League stats for the last two campaigns stand as follows:

Mata, Rooney and Van Persie: Premier League Stats
Player (Season)StartsGoalsAssists
Mata (2012-13)311212
Mata (2011-12)29613
Rooney (2012-13)221210
Rooney (2011-12)32274
Van Persie (2012-13)35268
Van Persie (2011-12)37309
ESPN FC

If Moyes is able to coax anything like their best form, and keep them fit, then no wonder Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini are complaining about the move, as reported by John Edwards in the Daily Mail.

The signing of Van Persie galvanised United to such an extent that they won the title at a canter last season, but injuries to the Netherlands international and Rooney this campaign has shown how weak the Red Devils' squad is once you scratch beneath the surface.

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have been formidable for Manchester United.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have been formidable for Manchester United.Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Per Graeme Yorke in the Daily Mail, Moyes has previously been frustrated in his pursuit of big-name signings, but it can realistically be hoped that Mata will not only convince others to follow, he may also sway Rooney to consider extending his contract at the club.

The key point for Moyes, as pointed out by BBC Sport's Phil McNulty, is finding the most effective position for Mata:

The key for Moyes is finding the right position for the Spaniard. He is not a winger and he is not a central midfielder, so it will be intriguing to see how the former Everton manager solves this conundrum.

Arsenal's array of attacking midfielders is second to none, with Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla capable of unlocking even the tightest defence, but they have little depth in attack where Olivier Giroud plays a lone role.

Similarly, Chelsea have plenty of players capable of creating the chances, such as Oscar and Eden Hazard but, again, they lack a consistent finisher with the ability of Rooney or Van Persie.

David Moyes has his work cut out getting the best out of Rooney, Van Persie and Mata.
David Moyes has his work cut out getting the best out of Rooney, Van Persie and Mata.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Only Manchester City can truly match, and possibly outshine, United's striking options when everyone is fit.

With the attacking options strengthened, Moyes must keep them fit and get them before urgently addressing other weak areas of the pitch, including centre midfield and defence.

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