Man United’s Juan Mata ‘happy to be luxury player’ after Mourinho doubts

first_imgJuan Mata has defended his style after being sold by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in 2014, telling The Times he is happy to be considered a “luxury player” given his record in front of goal for Manchester United.Mata, 27, was warned by Mourinho in September 2013 that he would have to “adapt” to play alongside the Portuguese coach’s preferred No. 10 Oscar, despite being named the club’s Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.But the Stamford Bridge boss decided to accept a £37.1 million offer from United for the Spain international in January 2014, telling Mata that United was a “good option” for him.Mourinho also sold Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg in January 2014 — who starred in Germany and is now impressing back in England following a £58m move to Manchester City — while fellow creative players Andre Schurrle, Juan Cuadrado and Mohamed Salah have all struggled at Chelsea.Last season’s PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard was dropped for Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday by Mourinho until his defending improves, with the defending champions sitting 10 points behind league leaders Man City after nine games.However, Mata — who has scored 18 goals and set up another 11 in 57 Premier League appearances for United, and was named the club’s Player of the Month for September — does not mind being considered a “luxury player” with his stats. “If a luxury player is a player who scores and assists and has good stats, then I’m happy to be a luxury player,” he said at a Special Olympics project in Madrid.Mata has either scored or assisted 74 goals in the past five seasons — a higher total than any other Premier League midfielder during that period — and says that “creative players” are unfairly blamed for defeats.”I’ve scored as many goals for Manchester United in the Premier League as for Chelsea, but in something like 30 games less,” he said. “In terms of scoring and assisting I’m quite happy with the stats, and stats don’t lie. They are facts.”I want luxury players in my team. I like creative players, and players who do different things. It’s easy to say certain players are luxuries, especially when you’ve lost a game. When you lose, a certain kind of player — the creative players — always get the blame.” Mata — who has been operating predominantly in a wide-right position this season under Louis van Gaal — said that he was not given an explanation for his Chelsea exit, but is grateful for his time at Stamford Bridge and is targeting future silverware with United.”I’ve not tried to prove anyone wrong,” he added. “I didn’t speak with Mourinho like he has spoken with you, for example. I never had any explanations and didn’t ask for them.”But what is past is past. I will always be very grateful to Chelsea for everything they did for me, but I had a chance to join a great club and am enjoying it here.”I’ve got a good record with goals and assists and hopefully we can reach a point where we win trophies, which is what I did at Chelsea.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

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