Juan Mata Signed New Manchester United Contract Because He Believes in Club

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Juan Mata of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on August 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Juan Mata has said it might have been "easier to leave" Manchester United in the summer transfer window, but he decided to pen a two-year deal at the club because he believes they can fight for trophies once again.

In a recent interview with Jason Burt of the Telegraph, Mata said he wants to help the Red Devils regain their former glory.

Writing on his personal blog One Hour Behind on Wednesday, Mata provided details of his conversation with Burt:

"I told him [Burt] that given the situation it perhaps would have been easier to leave, to accept that I did not arrive at Manchester United at the best point in their history and not renew. However, I believed, and still believe, that it was worthwhile to stay, to work so that this club returns to fighting for big trophies.

"I want to be here, working so that Manchester United can get back to what it used to be. This is my mentality and the idea I have in mind. I feel that this was also the mentality of the people who made this great club what it is, and that is why it is so unique and special."

Manchester United's  Norwegian caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (C) leaves the pitch with Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (L) and Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea after the first leg of the UEFA Champions League r
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Mata has struggled to make the starting XI on a regular basis under United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he has remained an experienced option for the Norwegian coach. 

The 31-year-old has played only 18 minutes of football in United's opening three Premier League games. However, his presence is useful among the team's youthful core.

Speaking to the club's official website in June, Solskjaer praised Mata after the World Cup winner committed his future to the team.

"Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players I have worked with. He is a great example to our younger players in his approach. He understands what it means to be a Manchester United player and has embraced everything about this great club.

"As well as everything he brings on the pitch, we have some fantastic young players here, and I know that Juan’s vast experience will help them to reach their potential over the coming seasons."

TOPSHOT - Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (L) attempts an overhead kick that goes wide Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can (C) and Liverpool's Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (R) look on during the English Premier League football match
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Mata is popular figure among United fans, and his blog has allowed supporters to gain an insight into the midfielder's outlook. Unfortunately, during his time at Old Trafford, he hasn't been able to share the same success United experienced under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The forward either scored or assisted 40 goals for Chelsea in the Premier League and Europe during his final full campaign for the Blues in 2012-13, but the Spain international has been unable to reproduce his most impressive form at United.

Mata remains one of the club's few creative talents who can not only operate as a trequartista No. 10 but also drop deeper to help with the midfield workload. However, the former Valencia man is now much more pragmatic in his work, and Solskjaer needs the flair-driven talent Mata was famous for when he arrived in England in 2011.