Gary Neville has questioned whether Juan Mata has a long-term future at Manchester United.
Not many fans were surprised to see Mata benched in favour of Rooney given he is the captain but Neville’s comments that he feels he isn’t dynamic enough to have a future at Old Trafford have raised a few eyebrows.
Speaking about Mata, Neville said: “He has done well, Mata, when he has played in central areas and his goalscoring record is good.
“But I always wondered whether he has a long-term future at United.
“When I watch him at Old Trafford, he isn’t dynamic enough and with Angel Di Maria in the team, they have to get Radamel Falcao in.”
Mata has endeared himself to United fans ever since he move to Old Trafford and continued to improve in his natural No.10 role but Neville clearly feels he has enough strings to his bow.
However, Mata’s goalscoring record at United speaks for itself and as a No.10 playmaker in amongst the likes of Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera, he was crucial in helping United play such fluid football against QPR.
Unfortunately, the future of Mata at United doesn’t look as clear cut as it should be. He is fighting with Rooney for the No.10 role and so long as Rooney keeps the armband, he’s likely to get preferential treatment.
The only way Rooney and Mata can play together is if Rooney is played up front instead but as Van Gaal feels he is better in midfield, that’s unlikely to happen, leaving Mata’s future up in the air.