Manchester United star Juan Mata is scheduled to return from his grandfather’s funeral in Spain to London for the EFL Cup final.
The Spaniard is showing great commitment to Jose Mourinho’s campaign by cutting short his time with family. The Manchester United midfielder didn’t travel with the squad on Saturday to pay his respects to grandfather Manuel.
But Mourinho received a huge boost as an emotional Mata decided to leave Spain to make it back in time for the Red Devils’ EFL Cup final showdown at Wembley against Southampton.
The former Chelsea star would certainly play a vital role in the absence of injured Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Mourinho has already said he is still not sure whether his Armenian play maker would be fit by Sunday. Midfield lynchpin Michael Carrick is also a potential doubt.
Mourinho said: “Honestly, I don’t think he [Mkhitaryan] is fit.
“Him and Michael, I think they are both out, but this is based on my experience, not on my medical knowledge and not based on tests.
“I think no chance. But I repeat it’s just my experience, a calf, a hamstring, even if it’s minor minor, some fibre damage, I think they’re out.”
28-year-old Mata had previously admitted how excited he was to play in the EFL Cup final. He told Sky Sports: “A final is always a special day in your career.
“Obviously if you win it’s much better, but playing a final at Wembley in front of lots of our supporters gives the day a different feeling. I consider myself lucky to have won the trophies I have won, but a final is a day you have to be focused on and you need to try not to make mistakes.
“But also you need to try to enjoy it as well. It’s a special day but without enjoying it you cannot perform at your best level.”