Mata’s contract expires next summer and Arsenal could step in to strengthen their attack for free if the Red Devils do not tie him down to a new deal.
Would he be a good addition to Arsenal? Here are the pros and cons of Mata moving to Arsenal.
Mata to Manchester United – Pros
Juan Mata’s arrival at Arsenal could add more weight to their attacking department which has already impressed this season.
With Arsenal boasting the services of talented superstars Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amongst others, Mata’s addition could present Emery an array of attacking options at his disposal next season.
Mesut Ozil has done well in the number 10 role under Emery and Mata, who hasn’t been given the central role at Manchester United, could thrive in the Arsenal setup if played in a similar role.
The presence of Ozil and Mata would also allow Emery the opportunity to rotate without losing the balance. The manager has already worked with the player and though it was a while back — 2011 to be precise — it is something that could help in a potential transition.
Mata to Manchester United – Cons
While Mata’s addition will surely aid Arsenal in certain aspects, there are also downsides to his transfer to north London. First and foremost, the United star is already 30 years old, meaning he will not be a long-term signing.
Most importantly, however, his lack of pace could seriously cripple his chances of getting acquainted with Arsenal’s style of play despite his positive relationship with coach Emery.
The Gunners play a high-intensity game in the final third with wingers often putting pressure on the opposition off the ball.
During his time with United, Mata has already shown significant signs of weaknesses, especially in terms of dealing with a high press from the opposing attackers – as he quite often gets caught off-guard.
That being said, Juan Mata, in retrospect, could be a valuable addition for the Gunners as it could add some much-needed depth into their attacking department while his vast experience in the English top flight makes him a less-riskier candidate.