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21 February 2024

Man Utd transfer latest: Arsenal's 'Ramsey factor' a Mata of belief for Moyes

By Agencies

David Moyes is showing the same dogged determination – some may call it stubbornness – that his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson did; and in some ways the “player belief” that Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger has had.

The arrival of Juan Mata – which the Manchester United manager believes gives him options that will guarantee an improvement in his team's results – may signal the end for some.

Tom Cleverley has been criticised and pilloried for his failure to provide a spark in midfield.

The coming of Mata is now being seen as the possible “writing on the wall” for Cleverley.

However, Moyes seems to firmly believe that both Cleverley and Ashley Young can still play a part in his rebuilding of a new reign at Old Trafford.

Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have shown that faith in a player’s ability can pay off.

Enter Aaron Ramsey – criticised and pilloried by Gooners and on social media bearing the moniker Ram****.

Today he carried the nickname Rambo.

Over at least two seasons Wenger stuck by the underperforming Ramsey and when he finally burst forth, he now seems unstoppable.

Is Cleverley United’s Ramsey?

Or for that matter Phil Jones?

What Juan Mata will do is take the pressure off Cleverley and Jones and allow them to grow into the potential midfield forces that Sir Alex Ferguson believed they could be.

With Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick to go with Jones and Cleverley, Moyes has to believe he has the potential to compete with the likes of City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the middle of the park.


Striking trio

Because upfront, Moyes knows now he has his men back.

Van Persie had been absent since December 10 and Rooney had not featured since January 1, while the duo have started just seven of United's 23 Premier League matches together.

Mata's last appearance for Chelsea came in their 3-0 win at Southampton on New Year's Day and Moyes admits that all three of his first-choice forward players may have to top up their fitness during matches.

Rooney came on for Van Persie just after the hour against Cardiff, with Mata playing behind the main striker until he was taken off with five minutes remaining at Old Trafford.

But Moyes, who refused to give an update on the progress of Rooney's contract talks, has suggested he can use Mata off either flank in order to keep his two main strikers in the side.

"We'll get used to Juan and he'll get used to us," the United manager said. "It was good to get him and Robin together and we'll use Juan in different positions.

"I can play him in any role -- off the left or the right allows me to keep Robin and Wayne as a partnership, and he's also capable of playing 10 as well.

"I hope we'll play better, that would be the first thing, and we hope to create more chances and play better at Old Trafford, where we haven't been able to take our opportunities.

"Juan did really well and created some good openings for us. He's not played much for the last month and Wayne only started football training on Monday.

"The results with them will get much better and we need to get them in the right physical condition. They're in need of match practice and fitness and they'll need to get that in the game situation."