Ex-Ireland and Chelsea full-back gives his take on a player who appeared to benefit in Rooney's absence
Ex-Chelsea and Ireland full-back Paddy Mulligan does not believe Juan Mata has a long-term future under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
The midfielder scored as United thrashed Leicester City 4-1 to return to winning ways in the Premier League.
But he also appeared to be one of the major beneficiaries as Mourinho dropped Man United captain Wayne Rooney after the England striker's poor recent form.
When Mourinho took over Mata had appeared to be a player likely to be transferred out, given that the manager had already done so when they were together at Chelsea.
But he has had a run of games so far this season, suggesting that there is a future at Old Trafford for Mata.
Despite that, Paddy told Newstalk's Rewind podcast that the Spain international has a long-term future - but not at United.
"There is [a future] at another club. Not at Man United. I don't believe so," said Paddy when Oisin Langan asked him whether Juan Mata now has a brighter future at Man United now.
Paddy acknowledged that Mata's goal was brilliantly finished against Leicester but pointed out a few issues.
"Mata, for instance, had a run of the pitch because nobody closed him down. His general play was only so-so. His play wasn't that good. United didn't cut Leicester up. I know that sounds strange but it was three set pieces and that Mata goal. And for the first 20 minutes, Leicester were the ones who were in the ascendancy and should have gone ahead."
Paddy feels Leicester self-destructed with poor marking and United were slightly improved from recent performances. But feels Mourinho's side still have a long, long way to go.
Listen to the full chat on the podcast player or stream on iTunes: