Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted he had no intention of selling Juan Mata as the Spanish midfielder was always going to be a key figure in his plans at Old Trafford.
Many expected Mata to be sold when Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal ahead of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, after he was allowed to leave for United by the then-Chelsea boss in 2014.
However, Mata has been an important contributor for Mourinho and United this term, scoring his sixth goal of the season in Saturdays’ 2-0 win at home to Watford.
“When I come here people thought that Mata was in trouble,” Mourinho said.
“I knew that he wouldn’t be in trouble because one thing is the football I wanted my Chelsea to play and another thing is the football I want my Manchester United to play and Mata is adapted to the football we want to play.
“So I knew it since the beginning he would be an important player and I think he feels that confidence in me and he feels that confidence in the game we want to try to play, so he’s happy and he’s happy on the pitch and you can see that the way he plays.”
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