Mata left Chelsea for Old Trafford after a difficult spell under Blues boss Jose Mourinho, and represented a huge addition for manager David Moyes, who had come under fire with Red Devils fans after a poor start to the season, as well as a disappointing summer transfer window which only saw Marouane Fellaini arrive from Everton.
And even Belgian international Fellaini, who cost the club £27.5m, has failed to make an impact with United, and many fans still believe that the club need to sign another central midfield player to solve the problems in the middle of the park, which have been plaguing Manchester United for years.
As a result, its puzzling that Moyes didn't make a concerted effort to snap up Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who left St. James' Park for a move back to France with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain. The £20m fee that took Cabaye to the Parc des Princes was incredibly reasonable for a player of his quality, and it seems unlikely that United could bring in a player as good as Cabaye for that fee.
Former Lille man Cabaye proved during his time with the Magpies that he is a fantastic box-to-box midfielder who can contribute goals from open play and set pieces, making him a threat throughout the game. There may be concerns over his ability to stay at the top of his game for a prolonged period of time having just turned 28 years old, but Cabaye possesses the ideal qualities that United are lacking in the midfield.
With players like Ander Herrera, Miralem Pjanic and Ilkay Gundogan repeatedly linked with moves to Old Trafford, all three would cost significantly more than Cabaye, and would also require a settling in period – whereas Cabaye had already established himself as a star in the Premier League.
Moyes seemingly believes that there will be players available in the summer, but has he already missed out on a great one by failing to capture Cabaye?
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