Juan Mata is set to leave Manchester United this summer and Newcastle United are interested in securing his services.
After spending six seasons with Manchester United, Juan Mata has been told a contract extension is not on the table for him at Old Trafford. As a result, Mata will be allowed to leave on a free transfer this summer. With Mohamed Diame and Isaac Hayden expected to leave Newcastle United, new reports are claiming that Rafa Benitez wants to bring in Mata.
The 31-year-old midfielder would bring some much-needed experience to a relatively young Newcastle United roster. The former Valencia, Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder would be a true leader in the middle of the park and would serve as a great mentor for rising star Sean Longstaff. Do I think Newcastle United should pursue Mata this summer? Yes, I do, but the real question is what would Mata bring to the team as the Magpies aim to elevate their status in the Premier League?
Decent Scoring Rate
Mata has spent the last nine seasons of his career in the Premier League – three seasons with Chelsea (2011-2013) and six seasons with Manchester United (2013-2019). During that time period, the Spanish international has made 243 Premier League appearances and scored a total of 51 goals, which equates to just under six goals per season.
This season, Newcastle United’s central midfielders failed to contribute much offensively as the five central midfielders scored an alarming combined total of three goals. Mata is not known as a quick and explosive player, but he is a threat from distance and he is recognized for his shooting precision. Newcastle United desperately need more goals from the middle of the park to take the burden off the front-line, which was directly involved in 76% of the team’s goals this term, and Mata can certainly provide a boost in that regard.
When Mata is not scorings goals, he is trying to set his teammates up with assists. Over the course of his Premier League career, Mata has provided teammates at Chelsea and Manchester United with 50 assists. Reaching that number of assists is impressive, but one could argue that a ceiling was placed on Mata due to the fact that his teammates were top players who could frequently create chances for themselves.
At Newcastle United, though, it would be the opposite scenario. Mata could easily double his seasonal assist average seeing that only two players on the roster, Miguel Almiron and Ayoze Perez, can create chances on their own. Mata’s vision and passing accuracy would be welcomed and appreciated on a team that has only scored 81 goals over the last two campaigns.