Chelsea accepted a £37m bid from Manchester United for out-of-favour playmaker Juan Mata yesterday and the Spaniard duly attended a medical examination prior to the ratification of personal terms in yet another significant Premier League transfer in the mid-season market.
It has taken over a fortnight for deals to be signed off but this, on top of Nemanja Matic switching Benfica for Stamford Bridge last week, appears to have kicked the action into gear.
That United manager David Moyes was pursuing an attack-minded midfielder was public knowledge and the club were linked with a number of players last summer but nothing materialised due to alternative reasons - differences in opinion over valuation regarding Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera or the contentment of Francesc Fabregas at Camp Nou with Barcelona.
However, in Mata… have United got the most effective chance creator of them all?
|Player||Apps||Goals (G)||Assists (A)||G+A:Mins||Pass Acc (PA)||PA:Mins||Chances (C)||C:Mins|
In the data table above, statistics are pulled from league competition only, which are perhaps skewed against Mata due to his dissatisfaction over the way his footballing life was heading under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho at West London.
While his goal and assist haul of a meagre two pales in comparison to the numbers bragged by Koke or Cesc, his passing accuracy is the highest (although Fabregas completes a pass with more regularity - once every 1.4 minutes compared to Mata at once every 1.7 minutes).
Mata has also created 30 chances and, considering he has seen less pitch-time than those listed, he is therefore more efficient at setting up a goal-scoring chance; once every 27 minutes, compared to once every 42 minutes for Fabregas.
|Player||Apps||Goals (G)||Assists (A)||G+A:Mins|
Last season was where Mata was really on form and the above table highlights goal and assist hauls for an entire domestic campaign. There is little separating Mata from Fabregas, as the former returns a goal or an assist every 97 minutes while Cesc affects the scoreline every 92 minutes.
While consensus opinion is that Marouane Fellaini was a panic buy last summer, there can be no such claims over this one as Mata, when studying the stats, appears a calculated purchase.
image: © Wshjackson