Man Utd Boss Jose Mourinho Believes Juan Mata Has 'Found His Natural Habitat' at Old Trafford

Published on: 28 September 2016

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes Juan Mata has 'found his natural habitat' at Old Trafford after being sold by Chelsea for £37.1m in 2014.

The Red Devils boss was in charge of Chelsea at the time of Mata's sale, although he claims to have played nopart in the switch.

Mata struggled to get into Mourinho's first-team at Chelsea, often overlooked for his lack of defensive ability and discipline.

With this mind,Mourinho came under scrutiny last month after he hauled Mata off in the Community Shield, despite bringing him on as a substitute just 25 minutes before.

But the United boss believes Mata has adapted well at Old Trafford, claiming he has become 'a very good player'.

Jose Mourinho: 'I never sold Juan Mata. I need him at Man Utd more than I did at Chelsea' | @_ChrisBascombe

"In my project at Chelsea he was a good player. At Man Utd he is a very good player," Mourinho told theBBC.

While he admits that Mata may not have slotted in well at Chelsea, he claims that Man Utd are a totally different squad and that the 28-year-old still has a major part to play this season.

"At Manchester United I have no players to play transitional football," Mourinho added.

Juan Mata covered more ground (11.34km) against Leicester City than any other player on the pitch. #MUFC

"We are not so physically compact like when we won the title in 2015. We are trying to play in a different way that is very adapted to his qualities.

"He has found a natural habitat for his football."

United got back to winning ways this weekend after two consecutive defeats, beating title-holders Leicester City 4-1 at Old Trafford, with goals coming from Smalling, Mata, Rashford and record-signing Paul Pogba.