European Champions Real Madrid are plotting a shock move for Manchester United star Juan Mata, according to the Express. Los Blancos have been on the rough patch of late, failing to win against Girona and Spurs, subsequently trailing league leaders Barcelona by a whopping eight points.
The Spanish giants, however, are keen to strengthen their midfield as club president Florentino Perez is expected to make some major transfer moves this January as well as the next summer transfer window. And Juan Mata has emerged as the latest transfer target for the twelve times European champions.
After starting his youth career at the Bernabeu, Mata failed to make an impression in the senior squad, eventually being sold to Valencia in 2007. Fast forward ten years, the Spaniard is one of the most easily recognizable figures in world football, whilst also managing to win 44 caps with the Spanish National Team.
Since moving to Manchester United in 2014, the 29-year-old has been a regular first teamer for the Red Devils, but can he really be the one to solve Real Madrid’s problem?
Even though the Spaniard has evolved a lot and grown more mature in his overall game with time, Mata still doesn’t seem to be a perfect match for Real Madrid at all. Los Merengues already have a plethora of quality midfielders and considering the fact that Isco, Kovacic, Modric are all very good when it comes to acting as the ball carrier, Juan Mata’s addition to the squad is somewhat redundant.
Juan Mata is very good at ball circulation and his calm nature of play helps his club maintain the tempo of the game throughout the ninety minutes. However, the Spaniard clearly lacks fitness and pace in his game, which can be a huge issue for Zinedine Zidane.
In a team full of well-qualified athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, all of whom are well used to the pacy counter-attacking nature of play under head coach Zidane, Mata’s rather slow and controlled game is sure to disrupt their progress into the final third.
That’s, however, not to say that the Manchester United midfielder doesn’t have any qualities at all. Mata is an ideal choice when it comes to creativity in the final third, and that’s what mainly been a problem for Los Blancos this season. But considering the fact that almost every Madrid midfielder has the ability to change the game on their own, thanks to their unbelievable talent, Juan Mata’s addition to the squad won’t aid the Spanish champions in any particular aspect.
Therefore, head coach Zinedine Zidane should turn their attention to other transfer targets. Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City or Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur might be an ideal buy for the European champs.
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