Erik ten Hag has gotten his first major decision as Manchester United manager right with Juan Mata’s departure from the club officially announced. The Spaniard’s contract expires this summer, but he had previously revealed that he was going to sit down with the new boss at Old Trafford to discuss what the future would have in store for him. He could have stayed, but the ultimate decision has been made for the 34-year-old to move on to pastures new.
Erik ten Hag Succeeds in First Major Decision as Juan Mata Leaves Manchester United
Official. Manchester United confirm that Juan Mata will leave the club when his contract expires this summer. 🚨🇪🇸 #MUFC
Been told Mata won’t join coaching staff – he wants to continue playing football. pic.twitter.com/p5dQhUQ4De
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 2, 2022
Why This Decision is So Important
This decision represents a big step for the Red Devils. After the exits of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard were announced yesterday, and with Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant also officially leaving when their contracts expire, the characteristics of the new regime are starting to be revealed.
In years gone by, United would have been desperate to keep big names like Pogba and Lingard around, but with the focus seemingly shifting from the finances to the football at the Theatre of Dreams, there is no longer space for players who either aren’t performing or have passed their peak.
Mata’s departure shows that Ten Hag is set on building a new and improved United squad. While he was considering a renewal, his talks with the boss seem to have persuaded him to move on, with the Dutch manager having no time for sentimentality.
Among those being targeted by United this summer are Frenkie de Jong and Jurrien Timber. Both have previously worked under Ten Hag and both would be great, youthful additions to the Dutchman’s Manchester United side. The Red Devils’ incomings this summer will be just as important as the players they let go, with something of a squad rebuild seemingly necessary after a poor 2021/22 season.