Why Real Madrid Should Bring Juan Mata Back
The recent "news" that FC Barcelona—the team who "creates" players, was preparing a bid to capture a Real Madrid Cantera product and my favorite Canterano Juan Mata (Esteban Granero is also my favorite, remember?) has made me write this article. It's hard enough to see him not play for Real Madrid, and the link to Barcelona is killing me.
Juan Manuel Mata had always been one of the brightest players in the Real Madrid Cantera. Mata was part of the RM Castilla (reserves team) when RM Castilla was brimming with brilliant players like Negredo, Jurado, Alberto Bueno, Granero, and Antonio Adan, to name a few.
Mata joined Real Madrid's academy at the age of 15, and swiftly progressed through the junior teams and landed in RM Castilla at the age of 18, owing to his brilliant performances.
Mata joined Valencia in March 2007, in his first season at Valencia, Mata benefitted from the injuries to the left-winger Vicente. Mata impressed many in his first season and became the first choice left winger over Vicente, which is a big feat in itself.
In the 2008-09 season, Mata was the first choice left-winger for Valencia and started 35 matches and scored 11 and assisted 13. Mata even broke in the Spanish national team, and has made two appearances for the La Furia Roja.
Mata is an extremely smart player, he's good at reading the game, delivering the passes, making smart runs to the box and can link-up with strikers very easily.
The player that missed his link-up ability the most is Alberto Bueno, because with Mata as his partner Bueno scored 37 goals in 37 appearances for the Juvenil team, and since Mata has left Bueno hasn't been able to score that many goals.
There are reports that Real Madrid are in the market to replace Arjen Robben—a left winger.
Even if they are not in the market, they should replace the talented but greedy and injury-prone winger Arjen Robben with Mata, here's why:
- Mata is a team player and is very good at passing the ball, whereas you hardly see Robben passing. Robben assisted a mere six times, seven less than Mata.
- Mata is nearly injury-free, he played 12 more games than Robben.
- Mata scored 11 goals last season, four more than Robben.
- With Mata, Real Madrid won't have to hear silly excuses like, "I have finished from there before." - If asked why did he take the shot instead of sliding the ball to Higuain.
I love Arjen Robben and what he has done for the club, I still like him. But Arjen will be replaced and any other replacement will cost a whole load of money whereas Mata would come cheap at €10-15 million.
My mind is made up, I want Mata back. I hope Perez and Pellegrini make their minds up too, and buy what should have been ours a long time ago.
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