Sorry, I was waiting for this after you said you'd get back to it later, missed it lol!
Originally Posted by THE HEARTBREAK KID
The bolded is what you should be focusing on. Sure, 10, 15 years ago, you'd have bee able to buy today's Mata for £20M. However, times have changed, players prices have gone up. The price of an average player has gone up because the price of the good player has gone up because the price of the great player has gone up because the price of the world class player has gone up. Mata is in that category of world class player, so in today's market, when you consider that he's only 25, consider the goal he's scored, consider the massive amount of assists he's accumulated at Chelsea, let alone the fact that in his first 2 full seasons at chelsea he has been their player of the year, then £40M to me is a steal for him.
Mata right for United? I'm not sure. Here's why IMO.
His best position is behind the striker, same with Kagawa. There the same player pretty much. United don't play a system that get's the best out of these players. We play two up top, two wide. That's always been United's best strength. That's United in a nutshell.
Rooney and Persie are United best players, both have to play, both are better then Mata so will a formation change happen? Will all three play in the same team? I'm not sure. However, if not, then it's not worth buying him. If we are going to buy Mata, we have to change our system and formation. something like:
Rafael. Vidic. Evans. Evra.
Cleverley. Carrick. Fletcher.
If we played this, it would allow us to play two strikers along with Mata, but it would mean sacrificing our wing play (Which has not been great anyways.) and would mean we would need to play narrow, putting pressure on Mata to be the major creative force. Also another option would be to drop Rooney behind and play this formation with Persie up top, while Rooney & Mata play in behind. Switching and rotating. That could be an option that would support Mata in this team.
I think it's unfair to say that Kagwa and Mata are the same player. Yes, they both favor playing in behind the striker, however, Mata is a better all round player than Kagwa (in my opinion of course).
You say we always play 2 you top and 2 wide. And again, yes, we do. However, who's been our manager for the past 25 years? The same person. Who's to say that Moyes doesn't want to try a different formation to put his own stamp on the team?
Rooney and RVP when fit both play, that goes without saying (in a side-note, I'd argue as to say that Mata is just as good as both of them, but again, that's just me). You would think that to accommodate Mata then a formation change would indeed have to take place.
Keeper and defense I'm in agreement with, Cleverly in midfield? No thanks. Carrick and Fletch in front of the back 4. Mata, Rooney and Januzaj (forgot about him yesterday) as an attacking 3, constantly switching positions to cause havoc, and RVP up top.
As you point out, our wingers this season have been awful. Januzaj has been the only good player out there and he's not even a proper winger. So with that in mind, sacrificing United tradition and doing away with wing play wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing at this point.
Another point is teams these days need to be versatile and be able to play different formations that offer different options. United are lucky that they're schooled in the traditional 4-4-2, and mastering a more 'continental' narrow formation such as this 4-2-3-1 or whatever narrow formation you want to play would be a benefit to United. Playing 4-4-2 all the time is predictable, and given the players at United right now, having an alternative to our traditional 4-4-2 isn't a bad idea at all.
I would also argue the same argument that Glen Hoddle made on sky sports yesterday (?). I think Mata CAN play in a 4-4-2. I think he's that good. He could easily play out wide or in the middle (providing that he has a solid player alongside him to allow him to go forward) I think in that kind of formation.
Another point, what do we do when Ronney or RVP (or both, as the scenario we're in right now) are injured? we struggle. Bringing in Mata would give us yet another option, playing Rooney/RVP/Hernandez/Welbeck with Mata in behind.
So final conclusion, would it work? If the formation is changed. I can't see Mata playing and being forced out on the wing for 40/30mil, that would just be silly. Do I want him? We need the lift it would bring, quality players are hard to come buy and he's shown he can do it, he's the player who needs an arm round him to let him know he's doing well. Major downside it would mean that would be the end of Kagawa I would assume.
As I previously mentioned. I think Mata is intelligent enough and good enough to be able to play out wide in a 4-4-2. Keep in mind that Januzaj is also the same player as Mata and Kagwa, and he's adapted to playing out wide brilliantly this season (a lot of people think he actually is a winger, but he isn't). I think Mata has that same ability. so with that in mind, I don't think it would be a waste at all to buy him, because he's that good.
But I think it's more likely we'll see a change in formation to accommodate him, which as I previously mentioned, isn't a bad thing at all.
As for the end of Kagwa, no big loss for me. He's never looked settled playing in the domestic games, always looked out of place. His best performances have been playing in the Champions League, which tells me that he's more suited to the slower continental game. On top of that, Mata's better than Kagwa, so we'd effectively be trading in a good player for a better one.
Either way, this would be a big signing, which we've been craving. And I'm surprised that we're even as close as we are to signing the guy considering he plays for a rival club. If we pull it off it's a massive coup to me.