Manchester United’s Juan Mata has hit back at Jose Mourinho after the Chelsea boss questioned his work rate.
Mourinho managed Mata at Chelsea but sold the Spaniard in January 2014. In September 2013, Mourinho issued a veiled criticism of Mata’s performance and admitted he preferred Oscar.
Mata eventually joined Man United and has gone from strength to strength under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal.
The midfielder addressed accusations that he is a “luxury player” in an interview with The Times.
“If a luxury player is a player who scores and assists and has good stats, then I’m happy to be a luxury player,” Mata said.
“I want luxury players in my team. I like creative players and players who do different things. It’s easy to say certain players are luxuries, especially when you’ve lost a game. When you lose a certain kind of player – the creative players – always get the blame.
“I’ve scored as many goals for Manchester United in the Premier League as for Chelsea, but in something like 30 games less.
“In terms of scoring and assisting and I’m quite happy with the stats, and stats don’t lie. They are facts.”
Mata has really kicked on in terms of goals and assists this term and he is solidifying his status as a firm fans’ favourite at Old Trafford. Although he was brought off at half-time against Everton on Saturday, Mata has been arguably United’s best player over the course of the campaign so far.