Manchester United Transfer News: Stars Set to Lose out After Juan Mata's Arrival

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2014

Chelsea's Juan Mata runs on the pitch during his teams game against Cardiff during their English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium in London Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Juan Mata's impending confirmation as a Manchester United player can be taken as nothing else than a major positive for the reigning Premier League champions.

As Nik Simon of the Daily Mail reported on Saturday (Jan. 25), the Spaniard arrived at the club's Carrington training ground for a medical, the last of the fine details needed before a £37 million transfer is completed.

However, it's not good news for all at Old Trafford, with a number of members on the playing staff set to have their chances affected as a direct result of the latest acquisition.

Here, we discuss those who promise to lose out most once Mata's move is made official.

Danny Welbeck

Jon Super/Associated Press

Though not the most directly affected in terms of position, Danny Welbeck's chances of first-team football have the potential to be damaged in Mata's stead.

Talk of a front four at Old Trafford involving the Spanish playmaker, Adnan Januzaj, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie has got tongues wagging in recent days, but there's been no mention of the homegrown product Welbeck.

This season has been one of the English youngster's more fruitful campaigns with his boyhood club, seeing him score eight times in 12 Premier League starts, per Transfermarkt

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19:  Danny Welbeck of Manchester United reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on January 19, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

However, with a rejuvenated Van Persie back in the squad, Rooney in behind him and the duo of Januzaj and Mata out wide, it becomes slightly foggier as to where Welbeck fits in.

Even with a fit RVP, Welbeck has been able to fill in on the wing, but another burgeoning member of the flanks promises to obstruct the forward further, even in his secondary position.

Shinji Kagawa

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United looks on during the Capital One Cup semi final, second leg match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on January 22, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Perhaps the most talked-about United player likely to be hurt by the incoming signing is misfit Shinji Kagawa, who has infamously struggled to fit in at Old Trafford even without the two-time Chelsea Player of the Year being present.

In many ways, the Japanese midfielder is a very similar asset to Mata. Both players function well as a No. 10 or in a trequartista role playing just off the main striker, but are far from incapable of starring out wide.

Kagawa has found his forays from the left wing to be largely ineffective, however, and the ongoing project of finding some way to slot him into a more favoured central role have come out empty up until now.

On Jan. 24,'s Sam Lee reported Kagawa's agent Thomas Kroth as saying that his client will not be leaving Old Trafford, irrespective of Mata's move, but it certainly doesn't benefit the 24-year-old's hopes. 

Antonio Valencia

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Marcos Alonso of Sunderland and Antonio Valencia of Manchester United compete for the ball during the Capital One Cup semi final, second leg match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on January 22, 2
Clive Mason/Getty Images

With Rooney enjoying arguably his best season to date playing in behind Van Persie, the right side of midfield would seem Mata's most logical point of introduction under Moyes.

The New York Times' Jerrad Peters agrees that the right flank is for Mata:

A role that he's used to occupying from his days with Chelsea and Valencia, the trickster's main competition for the spot will be Antonio Valencia (all too coincidentally).

The Ecuadorian international has been fairly productive this term, scoring four goals and making three assists across all competitions, per Transfermarkt.

That being said, it's hardly a rate that will warrant Moyes to be concerned about dropping Valencia from the line-up, with Mata starting in his place.


    Man Utd Enter Ndombele Race

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Man Utd Enter Ndombele Race

    via men

    England's Raheem Sterling Tells His Story ✍️

    World Football logo
    World Football

    England's Raheem Sterling Tells His Story ✍️

    The Players' Tribune
    via The Players' Tribune

    Messi and Host of Top Stars Reportedly Retiring from Argentina

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Messi and Host of Top Stars Reportedly Retiring from Argentina

    via Mundoalbiceleste

    Argentina Squad 'Clouds' Messi's Brilliance, Unlike Ronaldo — Sampaoli

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Argentina Squad 'Clouds' Messi's Brilliance, Unlike Ronaldo — Sampaoli

    Christopher Simpson
    via Bleacher Report