Manchester United are slowly preparing for their Saturday afternoon, when they will travel to Dean Court. The rival is Bournemouth, a team that is just one point behind Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently in fifth, and also the team that is through to the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup.
However, this time, we will turn our focus elsewhere. There is still enough time to analyse Eddie Howe’s team and to preview the upcoming match. This Wednesday was an important day. Marcus Rashford turned 21 years old.
Happy Birthday, Marcus
The English international and Manchester United’s academy product is now 21 and it is a good time to look at his career so far. Plenty of people and fans expect more or maybe wanted him to reach greater heights in his career by now. Yet, that is not an easy feat, as Rashford is playing for one of the biggest clubs and academy players barely get any chances. It is a very tough task to succeed great things this young.
And Rashford has certainly achieved great things. He has one World Cup and Euros behind him, playing in the World Cup semifinal last summer. He already has 29 England caps and has scored six goals for the national team, while he was still 20 years of age. That is some achievement. At Manchester United, he has made 133 appearances and scored 33 goals. He won FA Cup, Europa League and League Cup. That is already three of the five biggest trophies available.
There is still some criticism, but Man United fans need to be realistic. Expecting Rashford to be a generational talent like Kylian Mbappe is too much to ask for and the Englishman is already doing great things. Room for improvement is certainly there and that will be a big task for Jose Mourinho and his staff. Rashford could truly become one of the leaders of England’s new generation and achieve amazing things.
Could Juan Mata Join Juventus?
Calciomercato are reporting these days that Juan Mata is Juventus’ target. The Italian giants are reportedly interested in signing United’s Spaniard, but how realistic is that actually? Mata’s contract runs out next summer, but the club could trigger the extension for another 12 months. Either way, Juventus would not have to spend big for getting, by then, a 31-year old close to the end of his contract.
Probably Mourinho would not mind for Mata to leave, but are Juventus actually interested in him? It is hard to say, as they have Miralem Pjanic and several other brilliant players, but this could be an intriguing story to follow. It is also mentioned that his former club Valencia are interested in bringing him back to Mestalla and that would probably make more sense at this time.
Mata has played 196 times for Manchester United and leaving the club next summer could sound like a real possibility. The club are expect to bring in several new players and maybe make the squad a bit younger. Mata’s departure would fit that and, after all, it is often reported that Mourinho never truly trusted Mata, not at United, nor at Chelsea.
Whatever the case might be, triggering player’s contract would wise, offering the club the opportunity to actually sell Mata instead of letting him go on a free transfer.