Football

Juan Mata Training On His Own After Swansea Draw Sums Up Why Fans Love Him

Juan Mata Training On His Own After Swansea Draw Sums Up Why Fans Love Him

After Manchester United drew 1-1 at home to Swansea City on Sunday, Jose Mourinho delivered a not-so-subtle message to Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling to do more to make themselves available for selection.

In doing so, he also praised the efforts of Juan Mata who did everything he could do to play and was willing to risk a possible premature return from injury in order to help out the side.

Mata was ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery on his groin at the end of March, but was named on the bench for the Sunday afternoon kick-off, which confirms what all Manchester United fans already knew to be true.

Juan Mata really cares.

As if further evidence were needed, footage has emerged in the hours following the final whistle of Mata going through an individual training session on the Old Trafford pitch after most had left the stadium.

Bill Rice, who was reporting on the game for the BBC, shared a clip of Mata's extra effort with the groundsman cutting grass around him.

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It's a little gesture, but it shows how badly he wants to get back to match sharpness so he can help Man Utd in what will be a critical few weeks in their season.

With injuries to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and now Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw after the Swansea game, United are facing an injury crisis at the defining point of their season.

The efforts of Mata have not gone unnoticed, not by his manager, or the fans, who are used to fawning over the Spaniard for being an absolute gentleman in daily life, but now see him setting the example for other players to follow as a senior pro.

Whether that makes a difference remains to be seen, but it's clear that Mata cares deeply about helping the club, and with the manager openly questioning the same mentality in his other players, it's no wonder why Juan Mata is so well loved.

Mikey Traynor

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