Juan Mata departure from Manchester United officially confirmed
Manchester United have confirmed Juan Mata will be released at the end of his contract later this month.
United signed Mata from Chelsea in 2014 under David Moyes for £37.1 million
Mata’s departure follows Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, whose exits were confirmed by Manchester United on Wednesday.
Mata’s exit takes the saving United will make on the annual salary bill to £44 million, as a consequence of releasing Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Matic, Cavani, and Grant.
Juan Mata departure
Last season Mata’s contract was running down and United chose to offer him a new one-year deal.
It hardly felt worthwhile. Mata did not start a single Premier League game until April, and was used sparingly off the bench.
His final home game was against Chelsea at Old Trafford, where he got the chance to say farewell to the home crowd.
Mata was a popular player and individual at United, but one who the club never really had a plan for.
When he signed, he ended up being shunted out to the right wing, to accommodate Wayne Rooney in the centre, which proved to be a huge waste of his talents.
There were still a few special moments, notably his acrobatic volley away at Liverpool, his free-kick against Juventus, and his equalising goal in the 2016 FA Cup final.
Now 34, Mata is expected to still continue playing and it is likely he returns to Spain. It would not be a surprise to see him flourish.
He has not played much over the past couple of seasons and could still have plenty left in him. But he was never going to get the chances he needed at United at his age, with the team requiring a fresher, younger approach.
Mata’s departure along with Lingard and Pogba signals a new era for United, hopefully one we can all look forward to enjoying.
Speaking to the Athletic last month, Mata said he would have a conversation with Erik ten Hag over his future. A decision has clearly been made.