Juan Mata has described Manchester United as “very special” as he celebrates his fourth anniversary at the club.
The Spaniard joined the Reds from Chelsea as one of the club’s biggest ever January transfer window signings. Costing then-manager David Moyes over £35m, Mata has had a surprisingly large impact given his reputation.
Often seen as just one member of the squad, Mata has been remarkably consistent in his worth to the side, playing parts in key moments and in big games.
Writing in his weekly blog, Mata said, “precisely this week marked the fourth anniversary of my arrival at Old Trafford and my first game with the club.
“When you become a Manchester United player, nothing will ever be the same. Being part of this club is something very special and I can assure you that I keep enjoying every single game like I did with my debut against Cardiff.”
Now coming near the end of his contract at United, Mata has been linked with a move away. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have both been interested in signing the playmaker on a free transfer. It’s unknown whether the one-year contract extension clause United could trigger has been utilised by Jose Mourinho.
Mata has earned both the support and the respect of United’s supporters. His well-spoken manner and recent launch of the Common Goal Movement which aims to see footballers give 1% of their wages to a common goal.
That, combined with his performances and magical moments, including a scissor-kick winner at Anfield away.
“I’ll never stop thanking you for your support day after day,” Mata wrote. “Thanks to you, being part of this club is really special.”