Erik ten Hag’s Man United revolution gathers pace, with Juan Mata the latest to leave… as the popular Spaniard follows Pogba and Lingard out of the VERY busy Old Trafford exit door
- Juan Mata made 285 appearances for United after signing from Chelsea in 2014
- The popular Spaniard won three trophies with the Red Devils in his eight years
- Mata is the third high-profile departure from the club to be confirmed this week
- Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard were both announced as leaving on Wednesday
Manchester United posted a farewell message from Juan Mata following confirmation of his departure
Manchester United have confirmed Juan Mata will be leaving when his contract expires at the end of this month as the Spaniard became the latest to have his departure announced by the club.
Mata, who signed from Chelsea for £37.1million in January 2014, joins Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard in heading out of the exit door at Old Trafford.
The diminutive Spaniard, a fan favourite at United, made 285 appearances for the Red Devils but leaves with many supporters feeling he failed to fulfill his potential after being played out of position for much of his time at the club.
Mata posted a video message from the Old Trafford pitch following United’s statement, in which he thanked fans for their support ‘especially during difficult times’.
‘I’m alone. Actually this feels like a dream,’ Mata said. ‘I wanted to say thank you very much to all of you for your support over the years, especially during the difficult times that we lived together.
‘I will never forget you. Thank you very much. All the best from the bottom of my heart, and goodbye.’
Mata will wave goodbye to Manchester United when his contract expires this month
United released their third lengthy statement in two days to confirm Mata was leaving
JUAN MATA FOR MANCHESTER UNITED
Joined: 2014 (£37.1million from Chelsea)
FA Cup: 2015-16
EFL Cup: 2016-17
Europa League: 2016-17
Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant are also leaving as United seek to rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Mata, 34, won the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League with the club but was unable to achieve his ambition of lifting the Premier League title at United.
‘Thank you for dedicating eight years of your career to United, Juan,’ United said in a statement. ‘Everyone at the club wishes you all the best for the future.’
A World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain, Mata’s arrival from Premier League rivals Chelsea in the January transfer window in 2014 was met with excitement from supporters.
His first full season at Old Trafford was perhaps most remembered for a superb acrobatic volley in a 2-1 victory away at Liverpool in March 2015 in a game dubbed by United fans as ‘Juanfield’.
Mata claimed his first trophy at United in 2016 as he scored the equaliser in their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.
He was then part of the side that won the League Cup and Europa League in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.
Mata was a key member of the United side which won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho
The Spaniard scored the equaliser as United won the FA Cup by beating Palace at Wembley in 2016
Paul Pogba (contract expiring)
Jesse Lingard (contract expiring)
Juan Mata (contract expiring)
Nemanja Matic (contract expiring)
Edinson Cavani (contract expiring)
Lee Grant (retiring)
Mata went on to make more than 30 appearances in each of the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons before his role in the side began to diminish.
He played in only 12 games in his final campaign at the club, with his last appearance in a United shirt coming in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on the last day of the season.
Mata – unlike Lingard, much to the frustration of the player and his family – enjoyed an Old Trafford send-off as he was given a rousing reception during and after the 3-0 win over Brentford, United’s final home game of the season.
The Spaniard’s next destination is not yet known but he has hinted at continuing with his playing career.
‘I still have a lot of passion and a lot of will to keep enjoying football,’ Mata said in April.
‘This is a dream come true to be a professional football player so I want to play as much as I can.’
Jesse Lingard is also heading out of the Old Trafford exit door after 20 years with the club
Paul Pogba was the first major departure announced by United this week, with the Frenchman set to join Juventus on a free transfer
United’s announcement marks the third time in two days that they have released a gushing statement confirming the departure of a longstanding player.
Pogba, re-signed for £89million from Juventus in 2016, was the first before Lingard followed just hours later.
It had been widely expected that both would end their respective stints at Old Trafford when their contracts expire on June 30.
Both Pogba, who is set to join Juventus on a free transfer, and Lingard have since issued statements of their own to thank the supporters and the club.