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Mata 'would fit United mould'

Chelsea misfit Juan Mata can slot into the Manchester United side, reckons former Old Trafford hero Andy Cole.

Last Updated: 22/01/14 at 14:14 Post Comment

Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney during Chelsea's 3-2 home defeat to Manchester Un

Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney during Chelsea's 3-2 home defeat to Manchester Un

Talks between the Premier League rivals over the transfer of Mata to David Moyes's side - for a fee in the region of £37m - are understood to be progressing well.

The Spaniard, who has made just three starts under Jose Mourinho this term, is reportedly keen to quit west London and boost his World Cup selection hopes.

And despite claims the playmaker would be an uneasy fit for a United side used to deploying traditional wingers, Cole believes he would provide welcome creativity.

"He was Chelsea's player of the season two years on the bounce, so I find it very strange he's not in the team now," Cole, who scored close to 100 Manchester United goals between 1995 and 2001, told Sky Sports News.

"Jose Mourinho has made his decision why he's not in the team so if he did come to Manchester United, I think he'd be a fantastic player for them.

"(His arrival) would be a massive boost, given United supporters were disappointed there were no major signings in the summer. It'll be very difficult to win the league this season, but it would galvanise them for next season.

"If you look at Manchester United's history, they've always played with wingers, they've always played attacking football. I can't see them changing their philosophy; the team's been built on an attacking 4-4-2.

"But, for sure, Mata can operate in a 4-4-2. I think he's more than intelligent enough to play in a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1; he'll look to get on the ball, as he's always done.

"He's proved his intelligence, not just with Chelsea but also for the national team. He's a quality player with all the attributes. He's very creative and I think that's what Manchester United need right now - some creativity."

Wayne Rooney, long admired by Mourinho, has been linked with a switch the other way but Cole is convinced the England international will stay put.

"I'd be very, very surprised if that happened," Cole added.

"I couldn't imagine Wayne Rooney being sold to Chelsea or in a swap deal with Mata. Wayne Rooney's a pivotal player for United, not just now but hopefully for many years to come. I think everyone there wants him to stay."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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