Jul 08

Arsenal Transfer Analysis: Juan Mata

Juan Mata, 23, Valencia, Attacking Midfielder

News that Arsenal are talking to Valencia regarding the transfer of Spanish midfielder Juan Manuel Mata has given supporters fresh hope that a marquee summer signing is not beyond the financial constraints of our club. There are several factors in favour of the deal. For a start; the financial situation at Mestalla remains precarious. Secondly, he is currently earning just £30,000 a week so Arsenal are in a position to more than double those wages. The timing feels right in essence.

The club is in a summer of transition where it looks as though both Fàbregas and Nasri could leave – given certain prerequisite factors coming together – putting the club in a position where it will be under pressure to show it can be competitive. Finally, Arsenal are pursuing Mata against little competition. Chelsea want Modric, United chose Ashley Young, and Manchester City do not appear on the radar. There do not appear to be any noises from the Italian sides about him either; whilst Barcelona are prioritising Sànchez at Udinese. In addition, the Financial Fair Play regulations from UEFA are also not yet in effect either, so Wenger will feel more comfortable about releasing funds. I have noted the fact that Wenger said he intends this to be the last busy summer regarding signings new players for a while.

Mata is a brainy, talented, specialist attacking midfielder with the ability to make quick one-two’s, and the pace to outsprint defenders. He also has the prowess to finish fast passing moves that he starts 40 yards from goal. His movements are somewhere between the guile of Robert Pirès and the pace of Ashley Cole who have been Arsenal’s best left sided combination of the last 20 years. Most players are best suited to a solitary style of play, unlike Mata who can play in both styles. Some are best at playing counter attacking football (such as Wayne Rooney), whereby their pace and prowess in front of goal are best suited to that style. Rooney would be lost and frustrated in the present style employed by Wenger. Others, such as Fàbregas and Van Persie like to take touches of the ball and lack the explosive pace to play that way. They too would be unsuited to the Manchester United style in it’s present fashion, though not as much as Rooney would at Arsenal. Their continental game and love of touch football means they are less inclined to want to resort to winning football matches whereby the defining factor is the more natural athlete in a footrace. Wilshere and Mata are two players who can fit into both styles. Mata has the pace to break at speed, whilst also having the close technical control to break through 2 banks of 4 players when stubborn defensive teams come to our ground to maintain a draw.

Valencia utilise an attacking brand of quick pass-and-move football. The style of Arsenal is as similar as he would find outside of Spain. He is quick over 20 yards and able to drift inside and stay wide to allow the team to keep their shape, a crucial asset to the mobile style that Arsenal’s 2 attacking midfielders do on both flanks to confuse and stretch the opposition.

Last year he said ‘I admire Arsenal and the philosophy that the young players have.’ He would have seen Arsenal beat Barcelona at The Emirates and probably been as impressed, jusst as he would have been nonplussed by our defeat at the Nou Camp. The important thing is that as an intelligent young man with knowledge of European football as he is, he would appreciate the fact that Wilshere could play him through in front of goal; and the running beyond defenders of Walcott could leave space for him to embarrass and confuse fullbacks and defensive midfielders.

Juan Mata is entering his peak as a footballer. The next 5 years or so will be the time he will have the best of his physical abilities and the experience to make the most of them. Will he be satisfied to spend his best years at a club that are not level with England’s strongest? Is it a progression to leave a nearly team in Spain for a nearly team in England? Yes it may be more lucrative, but whether it will give him a chance to win the medals he could elsewhere is another question. It will depend on the motivation to sell from Valencia, Mata’s personality and will to leave, whilst the financial package on the table from Arsenal to the player himself will also be key.

For all the latest Arsenal news, discussion and analysis follow me on Twitter: @Detective82.



33 Responses to “Arsenal Transfer Analysis: Juan Mata”

  1. Jo Whatamaysan says:

    sign him now!

  2. rellends says:

    i’d love to see him here. however, we will dither and dither and dither until he ends us going to ac milan in august. nuff said.

  3. The Cabbie says:

    By the time AW wakes up that the transfer market is open Mata will have agreed a new contract and will not be interested.

  4. dean says:

    how much do you rate our chances of getting him

  5. jrock says:

    Good post.

    @Rellends, you’re an idiot.

  6. GUNS says:

    What happened to the new signings that were supposed to be unveil today? Arsene Wenger has no ambition so no good player will join, for the past six years the team has the same weakness and this dude is reluctant to address it. The results in the upcoming season will certain put him places that he will never recover…No brain Wenger….NEW SIGNINGS WE WANT OR GO

  7. Michael Dokile says:

    Mata is a fantastic player,good for arsenal,pls in Gods name he should b signed now,no more time 2 waste.

  8. damstar says:

    Front three of:- Juan Persie Gervinho wil be so lethal….this guy will surely improve Arsenal…

  9. Sunnex says:

    To my own best,i think if wenger want to sign he should sign quality players.

  10. Will03 says:

    @jrock, you’re the idiot. He will never come, Arsene won’t spend anything and just end the summer signing Gervinho,a sub-par CB, sell Fab4, Nasri and that’s it.

  11. spanzee says:

    i’d love 2 cee juan mata playing alongside wilshere,nasri,gervinho and v.persie…

  12. My Name Is Earl says:

    what’s with the “we’re looking to add 1 or 2 additions to the squad” by wenger ?? we need about 4 or 5 !!

  13. damstar says:

    1 or 2 additions????? Ar u kidding me? we need a new Lb, 1 or 2 Quality Cbs, 1 Dm, Gervinho, Chamberlain and Mata if we are to challenge for trophies next season…..

  14. bc says:

    This what i think is going to happen

    Gervinho is a done deal.

    Cesc is going to Barca for £35m plus Maxwell and Abidail.

    Arsenal will spend that £35m and the Clichy money on Benzema and Taarabt. Bendtner will then be allowed to leave for around £9m and could even go to QPR.

    Nasri, buoyed by the signings of his 3 friends will accept an offer of £110k a week for 4 years.

    Wenger will then try to sell 2 of Arshavin, Vela and Rosicky, if he does he will buy Mata.

    He will try to sell Squillaci and Traore, if he does he will buy Samba.

    If he sells Almunia, he will go for an experienced keeper as 3rd choice.

    Finally, if he sells Denilson he will go for Parker

  15. gunner786 says:

    Did Wenger just say he wants to add one or two more players!!! we need atleast 4 players. I think arsene will get mata and cahill and he just said he wants to keep both cecs and nasri and ryo miyachi looks likely to be playing for us next season watch out people!!!!

  16. mcfoxy says:

    @Bc you dream alot…we’ll buy quality and players*deadwoods maybe not all* will leave,this i’m darn sure of but bc not in the order you dream of…

  17. Joe Amedu says:

    mr Wenger, d self aclaimed prof, buy nw b4 its 2 late.

  18. Ayodele says:

    Will need England player that is the only solution for Arsenal this season any average England player will surely perform i can bet my money on this.

  19. GunnerMacedonia says:

    just why is chamberlain such a huge factor of winning the tittle next year? he has been playing like, what 2 YEARS in LEAGUE 1, and everyone rates him so much. i`d rather go for downing or ANY winger with EPL experience(nzogbia comes to mind first).
    and this mata guy would be reaaaaaaly good signing, but i doubt so much it will happen

  20. bebeto says:

    arsene wenger is not ready he should go and leave us alone cos he is not ready to deliver trophy

  21. Ayodele says:

    Top quality, let down memory line and check the quality player AW sign it is Ashavin, Silverster, Squillaci or chamakh i never see any quality in this players that i mention, they never give us what will want.

  22. gunner786 says:

    this is gonna be wenger last season in charge within the first 6 months if arsenal isnt competing at the top if he decides not to buy players. I think Wenger has something in his sleeve,or god help us all

  23. The Sky Is Not Falling says:

    I am intrigued by Mata. Assuming that Fabregas leaves and we hold on to Nasri, he would be a perfect fit on the wing with Nasri moving to the center. Still, I remained concerned about the situation at the back. Signing Cahill, Samba, or Mertesacker (or 2 of the 3) is a must. Given how quiet it has gotten about Cahill and Samba actually leads me to believe one if not both are in the works. If there is any truth to a 35 million sale of Fabregas with Abidal thrown in we should take it. Abidal is still a stout defender and would bring good experience to the back helping the likes of Gibbs.

    With Vermalen, Gibbs, Sagna, Cahill(?), Samba(?), and Abidal(?) on the back our trophy chances increase exponentially.

  24. GunnerMacedonia says:

    @The Sky Is Not Falling: i am pretty sure abidal wont be coming. why? because last year he was one of fans favourite(remember his injury, and all that cheering from the fans when he got back>) and i think he renewed his contract, seems like everyone in barca love him and wont let him go, their Left Back position is a problem , so they will keep him to tutor montana

  25. The Sky Is Not Falling says:

    @GunnerMacedonia: I think that you are probably right, which is why I was surporised to see that idea floating around the last couple of days. But at some point Bankruptlona will have to do something more than simply offer 27-30 million and it seems like they don’t have the cash to make a straight-up offer. Interestingly, Barcelona has created a bit of a mess for themselves on this issue as they walk a tight-rope of puffing up their desire (or should I say right) to get Fabregas out one side of their mouth and then speak to his lost value out of the other.

  26. vishesh says:

    Barca are probably going to bid in the last week of August for Cesc,say around 35 million pounds and since arsenal wont have an option,they might sell him.This could make Nasri stay as he said in the past that he wanted Cesc’s position.So midfield sorted for now.Gervinho on the left wing with Van Persie and Walcott along with him.Samba or Cahill,just one seems realistic(knowing Wenger).Which means we don’t need Mata and we can surely get a trophy next season,given no other players leave.

  27. All the best for arsenal says:

    Let Wenger decide on what should be done and hope that all the signings bkam realistic

  28. I am respect wenger,but I think its time that he leave us,because he didnt get us any trophy 8-years,or any quality players!!!he just sell the best that we have(henry,viera,toure,hleb)now he will sell fab4 or nasri!!!

  29. GIRISH says:

    Jesus navas is perfect for arsenal on the wings instead of juan mata.
    His style resembles legendary Garrincha
    Id love to sign him

  30. mike says:

    you here about all these might be signings wenger just needs to spend more than two pound fifty, you,ll know as arsenal fans that he has got a striker gervinho,and defender carl jenkinson lets see how far he will push the transfer window this time, he did it with arshavin he leaves it late but this time i think he is just gonna leave it at that for this season. SPEND IT ARSENE ITS NOT YOUR MONEY.

  31. Jaymin says:

    We’ll make a lot of noise, they’ll make overtures, we’ll comically underbid. Watch him end up at Man City or AC Milan or Real Madrid next season. I am really sick of our club’s transfer dealings.

  32. […] light will hopefully be shed on this subject in the coming days. In the mean time, have a read of GoonerTalk’s analysis of Mata as a potential signing, the bit about his wages being £30,000 per week is particularly […]

  33. […] chase for Spanish midfielder Juan Mata looks to have ended, with the Gunners failing to pay the 23-year-old’s buy-out clause before […]

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