[TRANSFER TARGET] Juan Mata: Low Down On The Arsenal Target

By on June 30, 2011

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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16 Comments

  1. kunalail.com

    June 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    If his age is 23, as mentioned above, then how come he just played in the just concluded european under-21 championship (which is also mentioned above)?

    • Lol At you comment

      June 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Look up the rules for under 21 international football you don’t actually have to be UNDER 21 silly but that’s they way it is why did Micah Richards tear his hamstring play under 21 football when he’s 22. (Its something to do with being under 21 when the start of qualification starts or something like that i don’t actually remember why though)

    • Arsenal Fan

      June 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      He’s 23 because you have to 21 before the start of qualifying

      • slav

        June 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm

        your allowed 3 any ages players to play for the under 21’s as long as the others are under 21 learn your football boys :S

        • Dave

          July 1, 2011 at 12:15 am

          Er, no, that’s the Olympics – u-23 plus three, except they were talking about changing it for the ’12 games; not sure if they did or not. U-21 is just as AF says, IIRC, except that, again IIRC, it’s u-21 on the 1st day of the January before qualifying starts.

  2. Levi

    June 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    my answer to wenger is to sell fabregas at 35 million and go for juan mata for 20 million and keep the balance……….also wenger should try to go for taarabt who wanted to come to the emirates if fabregas goes….so what do you think……..2 birds with one stone.
    wenger should know that maybe the selling of fab might be the beginning of a new arsenal

  3. John Barnes

    June 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    bye by to Nasri, Fab & Clichy! Oh dear the Gooners are a selling club. Why would Mata want to join this fractured club.

    • mick

      June 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Where are Torres, Alonso, Benayuan and Mascherano then. Sold I think, err who’s the selling club. Why come to Arsenal? Because it is better than your multiple fractures club.

    • gary

      June 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      nob

  4. Noble udo

    June 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Arsenal is just fun of players names without bringing any one in. Can somebody tell me the name that arsene winger buy, all are rumours i’m sick of this please.

  5. John Barnes

    June 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Even better can someone tell me the last time an Arsenal player praised their manager! It’s an unhappy camp and all their top players want out! Enjoy this years champ league qualification Gooners because it’s over next year!

    • Dave

      July 1, 2011 at 12:17 am

      All the time, but that doesn’t sell papers so doesn’t get reported. Cesc praised Wenger very recently, unprompted, when asked about the Barca transfer saga – but that doesn’t fit in with the story they want to report, so you don’t hear about it.

  6. abc

    June 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Good riddance to anyone who does not want to be here.

    I would be more than happy to trade Nasri and Clichy to Man City for £30m, look how well Adebayor and Toure have done there? They could offer us any (or all) of 7 players in return ( Given, Richards Boateng Lescott Bridge, Milner and Adam Johnson) obviously a cash adjustment would then be necessary.

    Cesc, just ask for £35m plus Affelay.

    • Gumpret

      May 24, 2012 at 1:38 am

      Rate Doyle very highly but think that it would be a good deal for all at about 14m. Doyle deersves an opportunity to play at the highest level he possibly can, we have 2 good centre forwards in fletch and ebanks and if you used that money to get johnson, and replace doyle with long we would be better off as a team. On the subject of the price tag, he is a far better player than some people think, adaptable to play as lone striker or as part of a front 2 and proven in the prem.

  7. Dave

    July 1, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Why didn’t we buy Ashley Young for £20 million? Why didn’t we move faster? Why are we missing out. Oh, wait, Mata’s available for the same price… There really is a metric fuckton of numpties pretending to support Arsenal these days.

  8. anonymous

    July 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

    wish nasri doesnt leave mata can take arshavin or walcotts place any way lets see what can be done,hope wenger spends right this summer

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