[TRANSFER TARGET] Juan Mata: Low Down On The Arsenal Target
Fresh from winning the European Under-21 championships with Spain, you might question why Valencia are looking to sell highly rated left-winger Juan Mata; who, at 23 years old, is one of European football’s most exciting prospects. However, Valencia were hit hard by … Continue reading →
Fresh from winning the European Under-21 championships with Spain, you might question why Valencia are looking to sell highly rated left-winger Juan Mata; who, at 23 years old, is one of European football’s most exciting prospects. However, Valencia were hit hard by the global financial crisis and are in a vicious circle where they play in a stadium too small to accommodate all their fans and not enough money (e.g. money gained from ticket sales) to finish building the ‘Nou Mestalla’. This lead them to being forced to sell David Villa as well as David Silva last summer and with a debt still around £350million, Juan Mata could be the next to go – but is it Arsenal he will go to?
What’s his pedigree?: Mata is a product of the Real Madrid youth system and he left the club in 2007 as many of their youth players do (such as Alvaro Negredo) to seek first team football. He quickly endeared himself to the Los Che supporters winning the Best young player award at the club in his first season with a strike-rate just better than 1-in-4 which he has maintained with 46 in 172 games during his four seasons with Valencia and bettered at international level. However, Mata is best known for his assist play, finishing behind the inimitable Xavi for assists and being one of only 2 players outside the El Clasico duo to be selected for the OptaSport La Liga team of the year.
How’s the chemistry?: A fellow Spanish bench-warmer with Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, Mata won’t be a total outsider at the club. Tactically, being primarily a left winger you would expect Mata to replace the patchy Andrey Arshavin on the flank – but Mata can play more centrally. This seems a very strange buy should we keep all of our midfielders as even in a 4-5-1 formation you’d have in excess of 2 players for every midfield role; in clockendview’s opinion Mata would only ever come if Arshavin left the club or was played more centrally (as he prefers) to fill a hole left by the possible departure of Samir Nasri.
Do we have a chance?: Mata is very much on the open market, with a host of big names enquiring as to his availability. Despite being strongly linked with many clubs, especially Liverpool, Mata has yet to commit his future and his agent (and father) has asserted this fervently. Perhaps the most confidence boosting factor are reports that Arsenal has made an £18million bid for Mata – however, these reports are unsubstantiated and raise many questions in themselves. To do this would smash the clubs transfer record of around £16.5million (including add-ons) for Jose Antonio Reyes as well as being far below Valencia’s asking price of £23million.
Likely bid: £17million. Probability: 4/10, dependant on Nasri and Arshavin.
Check out the video compilation of Mata below.
Submitted by Clockendview – just an Arsenal Blog
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