Juan Mata put together a strong effort in what appears to be his final Manchester United game at Old Trafford.
During his last appearance at Old Trafford, Juan Mata shone brightly in Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over Brentford, and Ralf Rangnick hailed his “love for the game” and professionalism.
With Mata making his first Premier League start of the season against the Bees, Rangnick confessed that the former Chelsea midfielder should have played more during his time in command.
In only his third start of the season, Mata made an impact against Brentford despite only starting the Carabao Cup loss to West Ham and the Champions League dead rubber against Young Boys.
During the game, Rangnick described him as a “magician” because of some of his touches, and he explained that his inclusion in the starting lineup was the result of some good performances in training and a stylish cameo against Chelsea the day before.
On the question of whether Rangnick should have used Mata more frequently, he replied: “I don’t know.” “Possibly the first game he had played from the start, [but] it also had something to do with the opposition being a defensive midfielder, and he has been one of the players in recent weeks to demonstrate his professionalism and passion for the game in training sessions. Occasionally, he would act as if he were a conjurer.”
Despite the fact that Mata’s contract with United expires at the end of the season, he waved to fans from every corner of the stadium as he was replaced, and it appeared to be a parting gesture from the Spaniard. Mata was making his 283rd appearance for United when he was substituted.
“I’m not sure [whether he’ll be leaving],” Rangnick admitted. “He hasn’t confirmed it, but it’s plausible,” says the source. It was a significant night for guys who have been with the club for a long time and have performed admirably for the team.”
The match served as a farewell to Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani, who will leave the club when their contracts expire this summer, in addition to Mata.
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In what appears to be his own goodbye, Phil Jones came off the bench, but Jesse Lingard, who is leaving the club after 22 years after joining as a child, did not come off the bench to say goodbye to the club that he grew up supporting.
“He didn’t train much because of personal circumstances, and yesterday was the first,” Rangnick explained.
“He requested that I allow him to spend some time at home. Tonight was one of those times when having five substitutes would have been ideal.