January 2014Mata became the Reds’ record signing as he completed a £37.1million move from Chelsea. The Spain international arrived in style via helicopter as he touched down at the Aon Training Complex for his medical and was relishing the prospect of life at Old Trafford. "I am thrilled to be joining United," he said. "I have enjoyed some very happy years at Chelsea but the time has come for a new challenge. This is the perfect place for me and I am excited at the chance I have to be part of the next phase in the club’s history." His debut came in the 2-0 victory over Cardiff and he enjoyed a warm welcome from the fans, receiving a standing ovation when he was substituted late on and winning the Man of the Match award.
The Spain international excelled for his new club in what was a difficult month for the Reds. His subtle touch set up Robin van Persie for the equaliser at Stoke, but he and his team-mates could do nothing about Charlie Adam’s spectacular winner. Mata, van Persie and Wayne Rooney proved they were compatible in the same side following plenty of debate on that issue, and his understanding with the Dutch striker was illustrated by the cross that led to the equalising goal against Fulham. The win over Crystal Palace was