Juan Mata
Juan Mata holds his new No8 shirt after signing for Manchester UnitedReuters

Did United exceed expectations during the transfer window?

Yes. At the start of the January transfer window, David Moyes downplayed the possibility of any arrivals at Manchester United. But he added that if United did bring in any players, the club would not be rushed into making any "panic buys".

Fans weren't anticipating any new player arrivals and experts were convinced David Moyes' side was out of contention for the league's top four.

But with one signing, Juan Mata, new life has been breathed into the club and United is once again a favorite to earn the Premier League's final Champions League position. David Moyes and Manchester United definitely exceeded expectations in the January market.

Some have claimed Mata was a panic buy. What do you think?

No Mata's signing was unique. His acquisition is the furthest thing from a 'panic buy'.

By adding Mata, United have brought in a player with two-and-a-half years of top four Premier League experience. Not only has he played in the English top flight, he has thrived in it while playing a major role in Chelsea's first ever Europa League and Champions League titles. He was named the club's Player of the Year twice and was a 2013 member of the PFA Team of the Year.

A player with Mata's CV rarely becomes available in a transfer market, especially in January. So for Manchester United to acquire him is a major accomplishment for David Moyes.

Does the Mata deal solve United's problems?

Inevitably that question will be asked, and the answer is: of course not.

January is a very difficult time to strengthen a squad and United had numerous needs before entering the winter market. The club's midfield and defence continue to be in desperate need of reinforcements; most experts would say that those positions need to be completely overhauled.

The hard facts are, the time for United to bring in players was during the summer market; preferably early in the window. That way the arrivals could have a preseason and a handful of games to get acclimatised to a new manager, teammates, league, living situation, culture, climate, etc.

That adjustment period is huge in regards to how a player gels with his new club. It takes time for players to understand a manager, a manager to understand his players, teammates to understand one another, and most importantly, it takes time for players to adjust to a new league.

But you are more confident going into the second half of the season...

Yes. What David Moyes and his staff continued to do during the January window was identify and evaluate potential targets while also making the necessary connections to the parties involved with those players. The foundation has been laid for Manchester United's summer transfers.

For now, the return of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie to the lineup will have immediate benefits. With both players healthy, United's sputtering attack has been given a jolt of life. Add into the mix the world-class playmaking skills of Juan Mata and suddenly Manchester United have one of the Premier League's most explosive attacks, along with Manchester City.

But, that said, a massively important summer window looms.

Peter Quinn is an avid Manchester United fan who has previously written for USA Today and World Soccer Talk.

This piece was provided by the ManUnitedWorld fansite. You can find them on Twitter @ManUnitedWorld.