Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has backed David Moyes to thrive in his new role at Real Sociedad, stressing how grateful he remains to his former manager for bringing him to Old Trafford.
The La Liga side confirmed the appointment of the Scottish boss on Monday evening and, while it’s since been revealed that the finer details of the contract are still to be ironed out, his arrival at the Anoeta is expected to be a formality.
Mata has subsequently thanked Moyes for signing him from Chelsea in January for a then-club-record £37.1 million fee, having fallen out of favour with the Blues, and insists he will prove a huge hit in Spain after having “no luck” during his disastrous nine-month reign at United.
“I was with him just a few months but of course I will always be grateful to him because he played a key role in my move to United. He was the one who called me, who received me and who gave me the confidence to come here," Mata told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.
"He is a coach who had no luck here [at Old Trafford]. Obviously, replacing Sir Alex Ferguson is not easy. Not for him not for anyone. He was unlucky. He did not got the results we wanted and his spell ended sooner than expected."
Having failed to even complete a full season of his six-year United contract, Moyes’s reputation has taken a considerable hit back in England, but Mata believes his Sociedad switch is the perfect opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
“My experience with him is very good. He did a very good job at Everton. He works hard and prepares really well for the games,” he said.
"I wish him the best at Real Sociedad. I have great friends like [former QPR and Real Madrid midfielder] Esteban Granero there and I also want the best for him. I hope he does well.
"Real Sociedad is a club with lots of history and a great stadium and San Sebastian is a place where you can live really well. They have a great team, especially good attacking players and hopefully will do great. I think he can settle well and can get things right."