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Mata does not fit the United players’ profile – Neville

The former Manchester United captain argues that the Spaniard’s signing from Chelsea ridiculed his former side’s philosophy.

Juan Mata was signed from Chelsea in the winter of 2013-14 season for a fee around £37m.

The Spaniard’s total of 207 appearances for the Red Devils has yielded 44 goals.

But the 30-year-old has found game time to come by this season, having appeared only on 21 occasions in all competitions this season.

With Mata failing to have start any league game since Ole Gunnar Solskjear took over from Mourinho, Gary Neville noted that the caretaker manager was restoring United’s philosophy by keeping out players like Mata out of the starting eleven.

Neville told Sysports: “As the weeks have gone on you’ve seen more of his imprint on the team in terms of the attacking play and the runs forward. The profile of the team has changed.

“We talked about it during commentary, gone are Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku from the starting line-up. I said a few years ago on Monday Night Football when Mata was signed that he was a wonderful player, but I thought it was a breach of philosophy.

“I didn’t think he fitted the profile of a Manchester United player.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is picking the profile of player Manchester United need and that’s players who have the energy to get from box to box quickly and counter-attack with quality. You’ve seen that in the last few weeks.”

Juan Mata and former United boss Jose Mourinho

Mata who has contributed 5 goals to Manchester United’s campaign this season – one of, a wonderful free-kick in a Champions League tie against Juventus in Turin, contract is set to expire in the summer.

A renewal of contract was mooted under Mourinho, but the future of the World Cup winner at United has been thrown back into the dark lately.

In December of last year, Mata confessed his love for the English League, and said going to the Spanish league was not on the desk for him.

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