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Juan Mata tells INEOS who to build Manchester United around concerning three starlets



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Credit: YouTube / ESPN FC

Juan Mata has sent a message to INEOS, telling them they should look to build Manchester United around his friend and former teammate Bruno Fernandes.

Juan Mata spent almost nine years at Manchester United, arriving in January 2014 for a then-record British transfer fee of £34 million from Chelsea following multiple seasons of brilliance at Stamford Bridge.

Mata grew a very strong connection with United fans during his time at Old Trafford, playing under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær during their respective periods at Old Trafford.

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Mata displayed some of the most iconic moments at United since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, including a brilliant goal against Liverpool at Anfield in 2015, and won three major trophies at the club before leaving for free in the summer of 2022.

Mata still knows many of the players now in the United dressing room and remains good friends with club captain Bruno Fernandes.

Speaking to ESPN, Mata has explained that he feels Fernandes is the big personality in the club’s dressing room, calling what the Portuguese international has done at the club over the last four years “incredible”.

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“I can tell you that for me, there is a great leader in there right now, which is the captain, Bruno,” he said.

“I should tell to all young players to look up to him. I cannot tell you how important he is for the club, and not only because of what he’s done in the last games, scoring two goals and winning the game [against Sheffield United], but his consistency within the years that he’s been playing for the club is just incredible.”

Speaking further, he explained that the culture of the club, which new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are responsible for, should be built around the No. 8.

“He’s a top, top player, but he’s even better as a person. So for me, the culture of the club should be built around him, Mata continued.

“He’s a great example for all the new generation, the players that are playing now for the team, (Alejandro) Garnacho, (Kobbie) Mainoo, (Rasmus) Højlund, to look up to him the way he trains, the way he behaves.

For me, he’s the one that is always there for the team. He can play better or worse, but he’s always there with the right attitude. And for me, that’s what being a Manchester United player is.”