2018-19 Season Ending Player Review: Juan Mata

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It’s time to analyze what happened during the 2018-19 season for Manchester United. And for that, we will go checking each players individually to rate their performances, give a brief summary of what happened over the course of the campaign, and assess the role of the player in the upcoming campaign — if he stays with the club:

Let’s continue with Juan Mata. The 31-year-old Spaniard wasn’t a regular member of the first team, but he always found a way to produce. And even though he’s not going to win matches with his play, he’s certainly not going to cause any disasters out there. He’s a reliable, experienced player and he proved it once again across the campaign.

Appearances across all competitions

The former Chelsea and Valencia star made 22 Premier League appearances in the 2018-19 season, starting 16 times. He chipped in with three goals and four assists. Mata also made six Champions League apperances (one goal), three FA Cup appearances (one goal) and netted on his lone EFL Cup match, too.

All things considered, Mata ended the campaign with six goals and four assists in 32 matches across all competitions. Those are not star numbers by any means, but show exactly the kind of player Mata is. Someone who can produce at a steady rate regardless of the opponent, the competition or the role he has in the squad.

Did he perform above or below the expectations?

To analyse what were Mata’s expectations heading into the season, we must understand his role first. There’s no doubt that the Spaniard is a quality player, but he’s never been a regular starter at Old Trafford. That didn’t change with the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and as a result Mata was never able to play first-team football on a regular basis.

With that in mind, his performances were according to expectations. No one expected much from Mata, but he was reliable every time he was out there. As a seasoned veteran with plenty of Premier League experience, he knows his role and won’t be demanding more minutes or seeking to leave the club. He comes every day, trains and plays when he has the chance. Players as professional as him don’t grow on trees.

Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?

Yes, Mata will be a part of Manchester United during the upcoming season. His former deal was set to expire before he signed a two-year deal with the club in late June. He might not be a regular starter once again. But he will be a valuable member of the side coming off the bench while also making starts here and there.

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