Manchester United’s record signing Juan Mata had an indifferent first six months at the club. After being overjoyed at the glorious reception he received after completing his £37.1 million move from Chelsea, Mata found himself being played out of position on a number of occasions. He was even left out of the starting line-up in some key matches. Ahead of the new Premier League campaign, and there has been speculation about Mata’s future at Old Trafford.
New United boss Louis van Gaal favours a 4-3-3 system in which Mata has not excelled in the past. The little Spaniard has more influence playing just behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Despite the uncertain future, Mata is confident that he will be able to lift titles with United as well. The 26-year-old has been hugely successful since his £24 million move to Chelsea in 2011. He has won the FA Cup, Champions League, and Europa League during this period. He is now targeting his first Premier League title.
United have won an incredible 13 Premier League title since 1992. They often begin the season as favourites, but it is not the case this time around. After a seventh placed finish last season, the Red Devils find themselves as the third favourites behind Chelsea and Manchester City for the title. Further, they are surrounded by the dubious record of no team having won the title after finishing seventh in the previous campaign. Liverpool have come the closest to breaking the record after finishing second last season.
Mata, though, says that the brilliance of Louis van Gaal will see them crowned as the champions in the new 2014-15 season. The presence of elegant playmakers like Mata has made Robin van Persie as the second favourite to finish as the top goal scorer in the 2014-15 season. Betfair gives odds of 9/2 for this bet. Aguero is expected to top the charts at odds of 7/2.
After having won league titles at all of his previous clubs, Van Gaal has the pedigree, experience, and tactical nous to be successful in the Premier League. He appeared a very confident man in his first press conference. However, he will be aware that winning the title straightaway will not be easy. United, though, will be aided by the absence of midweek action, which should help them concentrate on league matches.
United are one of the several Premier League clubs on tour in the United States. They will be taking part in the International Champions Cup along with clubs like Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Inter Milan, and Roma.
Mata was part of the disappointing Spanish performance at the World Cup 2014. He was an unused substitute in the heavy defeats against the Netherlands and Chile. However, his return to the team helped Spain salvage some pride with a win over Australia in their final group match. Despite being only 26, Mata has already lifted the European Championship, World Cup, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, and Copa del Rey.