Oh, bollocks. In his press conference ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, José Mourinho confirmed the fears of United fans. Juan Mata’s season is over. Mata had an operation on a groin injury during the last international break, that the MEN have reported as a hernia. The club has been noticeably mum on details of the injury, and Mourinho has been vague - even by his standards - on potential recovery time.
Today though, when asked about a potential return for the Spaniard, the manager said “late May.” Given that United’s final league match takes place on May 21st, and that the Europa League final (let’s not count our chickens, though) is on May 24th, it’s almost certain that we’ve seen the last of Mata in a United shirt this season.
Mata’s absence is a cruel blow. For all the speculation about him not being a “Mourinho player,” he has been United’s most consistent and reliable source of assists since he signed - including this season. He’s also the only player outside of Zlatan Ibrahimović to hit double figures in the goal column. With United’s attack continuing to misfire as of late, Mata’s availability could have made all the difference.
Get well soon, Juan. Hugs.