Solskjaer explains Manchester United's Mata renewal agreement
Juan Mata’s new contract caused plenty of dissention among United fans.
It was the length of the deal which raised eyebrows, although it appears to be two years plus an option of a third, rather than a straight up three-year contract.
United announced the agreement on the club’s official website.
Mata sent a message on Twitter expressing his happiness at his new contract.
The boss’ verdict
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave his reasoning behind the agreement.
He sees Mata as an important role model and still believes the 31-year-old Spaniard has a lot more to give.
Solskjaer said: “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.
“I am delighted that he has signed a new contract, as I know that his talent and mentality will be invaluable to the squad.”
Top United youngsters like Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood can benefit from Mata’s tutelage off the pitch.
At a time when Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are being criticised by supporters, Mata is seen as an exemplary figure.
To make the contract work though, Mata has to justify the deal on the pitch and not behind the scenes.
His free-kick winner against Juventus last season shows he still has magic in his boots from set pieces, but he has to show he can still be an asset from open play in Solskjaer’s set up.