Erik ten Hag’s appointment as Manchester United manager was clearly meant to facilitate the remodelling of the club’s squad. Since the Dutchman’s appointment, eleven players have left the club which also includes long-standing names such as Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata who all have more than five years of service under their belt.
While Pogba and Matic were comparatively recent acquisitions under Jose Mourinho’s tenure, Mata was signed back in 2014 when David Moyes had just succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as the head coach.
With more than 250 appearances, 51 goals and four trophies to his name since then, the 34-year-old completed his 8-year stay at Old Trafford last season as he came off the bench for his final appearance against Crystal Palace on Matchday 38.
In the years since SAF’s departure, United have witnessed much instability on a sporting level where a majority of the club’s marquee signings have not paid off. Amidst this chaos, Mata continued to produce influential moments in spells and remained a faithful servant to the club by even agreeing to take on a rotational role in his prime years.
His consistent passion for the club has also ensured that the ex-Chelsea man received more love and support from the United fans than the likes of Paul Pogba who came up through the ranks of the club’s youth academy.
Following the expiration of his contract with the Red Devils, Mata is currently on the lookout for a new club. While there have been multiple rumours linking him to various clubs, it appears the Spaniard is still very much in England.
As supporters spotted Mata out in Cheshire with former teammate Bruno Fernandes, it appears the veteran midfielder has given everyone a surprise by sporting a closely cropped hairstyle.
As per reports, Mata and Fernandes were spotted in Hale Village as the duo stepped out after having lunch at the Italian restaurant Cibo. While the Portuguese international is immediately recognizable in the images, Mata appears to be displaying a completely new look.
Throughout his time in England for Chelsea and United, Mata always sported a medium-length trim consistently which also slowly became his trademark look.
However, while spotted with Fernandes on Saturday the Spaniard was flaunting a close-cropped look, never seen throughout his time in the Premier League.
Moreover, the hair along with the khaki polo t-shirt and cargo pants worn by Mata gave football fans mafioso vibes and hence, has resulted in comparisons with the character Trevor from GTA.
As Mata is now set for a change of scene after his long service in the PL, perhaps a new hairstyle is a good way to signal the change. With rumours of offers from the Middle East and the MLS, it is only a matter of time before the Spanish playmaker is back on a football pitch in a new jersey to go along with his fresh trim.