Man United playmaker Juan Mata will feature against Southampton in the EFL Cup final on Sunday after rushing back from his grandfather’s funeral.
The Spaniard suffered the unfortunate loss this week and was given permission from Jose Mourinho to return to his homeland for ‘personal reasons’.
However, the United boss will be delighted to have him back as The Mirror report that the key creative ace returned to join up with the squad in London on Saturday night and will take his place in the side to face the Saints.
It’s reported that Mata flew back to Spain shortly after the win over Saint Etienne in the Europa League on Wednesday night, and so it will undoubtedly have been a difficult and tiring few days for him.
In turn, the United staff will have to monitor him ahead of kick-off to ensure that he’s ready to play, with Wayne Rooney likely to be among those ready to step in if his teammate isn’t able to convince Mourinho that he’s focused on the task in hand.
If that is the case, it will be a setback for the Red Devils as despite many predicting that Mata would be forced to leave Old Trafford following Mourinho’s arrival last summer, he has done admirably well to put the Chelsea debacle firmly behind him.
The 28-year-old has scored nine goals and provided five assists in 33 appearances in all competitions so far this season, and he’ll be desperately hoping to add to his tallies this weekend.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan already ruled out due to injury, Mourinho won’t want to be without another regular against Claude Puel’s men, and so it remains to be seen if Mata makes the cut and takes his place in the starting line-up as United go for their first significant trophy under their current boss.