Juan Mata says it would have been easier to leave Man Utd over the summer after recent failures

Juan Mata made a difficult decision over the summer (Picture: Getty Images)

Juan Mata has admitted that it would have been an easier option for him to leave Manchester United this summer and admit defeat in his efforts to restore the club to former glories.

The Spain international was out of contract this year but signed a new two-year deal to stay at Old Trafford under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Mata was signed by David Moyes at Man Utd and has since played under Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Solskjaer in a period of turbulence at the club.

While the 31-year-old has won the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League with the Red Devils, he acknowledges that United are not the force they used to be, but is determined to fight to restore them to the elite of European football.

Referring to an interview with the Telegraph’s Jason Burt on his blog, Mata wrote: ‘I told him that given the situation it perhaps would have been easier to leave, to accept that I did not arrive at Manchester United at the best point in their history and not renew.

‘However, I believed, and still believe, that it was worthwhile to stay, to work so that this club returns to fighting for big trophies.

‘I want to be here, working so that Manchester United can get back to what it used to be. This is my mentality and the idea I have in mind.

‘I feel that this was also the mentality of the people who made this great club what it is, and that is why it is so unique and special.’

Mata has appeared in all three of Manchester United’s Premier League games so far this season, but all have been from the substitutes’ bench.

When he signed his new contract in June, Solskjaer told Manchester United’s official website of the midfielder: ‘Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players I have worked with.

‘He is a great example to our younger players in his approach. He understands what it means to be a Manchester United player and has embraced everything about this great club.

‘As well as everything he brings on the pitch, we have some fantastic young players here and I know that Juan’s vast experience will help them to reach their potential over the coming seasons.’

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