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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Can Mata change Moyes’ fortunes?

New optimism surrounds Old Trafford in the wake of record transfer Juan Mata’s arrival for 37 million euro, it remains to be seen however, is Mata capable of turning a poor season into a successful season for Moyes?

There is no doubt Mata will provide a boost to everyone associated with United, the team will be boosted by his quality but is his quality enough to lift United from 7th up to 1st in the final stretch of the season?

One reason why this signing may not signal any great revival for United this season is the fact they are not lacking quality in the attacking midfield position, the main problem in the starting 11 is, and has been for a while now, the central midfield area, not the role behind the striker.

Although Mata will improve the teams attacking threat, his signing was not a necessity, with other quality players such as Rooney, Kagawa and Janujaz capable of playing in that role, Moyes may have been better served strengthening other areas of the team.

Currently in the central midfield area Moyes has the option of playing Fellaini, a major flop since joining, Carrick, Fletcher and Cleverley, all good players but none great, United are in need of a Gerrard style player, a top quality box to box midfielder capable of turning defence into attack in a second.

This is not the type of player Juan Mata is, he is an attacking midfielder and he is not a solution to their midfield problem. Other places in the team that would be better served than attack with a new signing would undoubtedly be at the back.

With Ferdinand and Vidic struggling with injuries and not on the top of their games, a new central defender could be of more use to United than Mata, although they do posses other centre-half’s  such as Evans and Smalling none of these have proven themselves good enough to maintain a strong partnership at the back for the champions.

The signing of Mata will undoubtedly propel Manchester United upward in the table but it is extremely unlikely he can swing the title race on his own. The big money signing may only be an attempt to cover over the cracks that are still very much a problem at the defending champions.

A fully fit Manchester United will finish higher than 7th in the league but they should be realistic, the top 4 should be their goal and with the form of Liverpool that will be no easy task.