There have been various reports in the last few weeks concerning Chelsea fans whether the new manager, Jose Mourinho would consider selling Juan Mata. This will be a shock undoubtedly to any Chelsea fan as he has had an incredible Chelsea career, even from the very start scoring against Norwich in his debut game. Juan has not held back since joining the blues having his best season yet by being by far one of their most influential players leading the Premier League assist charts.
This is what concerns Chelsea fans, as anybody will recognise throughout this season it has been the genius of Juan that has enabled this Chelsea team to play with flair and creativity – linking the special talents that Chelsea possess together. Throughout this Premier League campaign, Juan created 95 chances with his nearest teammate Eden Hazard managing to created just 65 chances in comparison. Mata has been a consistent performer throughout the season accumulating 12 league assists and 12 league goals. There has been an incredible improvement in comparison with his first season tally, amounting 6 goals.
In his first season, Mata proved to be the most creative player within the Chelsea ranks, creating 102 chances. His closest team mate, Frank Lampard created a mere 55 opportunities. These creative attributes make him one the integral members of this developing Chelsea team, one that many Chelsea fans see as the future of the club, especially as owner Roman Abromovich who is reportedly desperate for attacking creative football. Mata’s speciality.
Juan, in many ways is viewed by the club and fans as the perfect footballer who is not only magical on the pitch but also remarkable off the pitch. He certainly does Chelsea’s international appeal no harm illustrated by Juan recently helping his former local club Real Oviedo to continue operating after a difficult financial period that could of forced the club to discontinue. In his early career he moved to Real Madrid, where he developed his game eventually forcing a move to Valencia as he felt that there he was unable to receive sufficient playing time. Many Chelsea fans will hope that he does not have a desire to return to Spain, in particular Madrid, especially as Chelsea fans will feel that he has his best years ahead of him.
Recent managers of Chelsea all played Mata consistently throughout his two seasons. This was highlighted in 2011/12 campaign by completing 2531 minutes in the Premier League – the highest amount of playing time a Chelsea attacker played. Only the expected Cech, Cole and Terry played more minutes in the league than Juan, all in positions that are notoriously known for consistency unless injury prevents. Similarly, this season he played a similar role amounting 2744 minutes, only to have played less to Cech, Ivanovic and Cole.
It is important to recognise that Mata opted to play in the Spanish Olympic team during the summer of 2012 meaning that he did not receive as much rest as other players. This dedication to play epitomises Juan as somebody who just seems to love the game, and it is probably one of the other main factors that makes him so loved with the Chelsea fans. He is not at Chelsea for fame or money which really has a significant impact on his relationship with the fans.
The form that Chelsea displayed in the league seems to be influenced as to whether Juan has started. Due to the heavy schedule that Chelsea had to contend with, combined with Juan’s lack of rest because of his Spanish responsibilities, it meant that inevitably Juan had to be rested at certain times in the season. But what soon became apparent was that Juan was so important, it was very difficult to rest him as Chelsea’s resulted plummeted when he wasn’t involved from the beginning.
In the three games that Juan did not start this season but came on as a substitute in an attempt to steal some points, Chelsea managed to score only 1 goal gaining only 1 point. In the 4 games that Mata missed this season Chelsea managed a total of 4 goals and three points. It seems evident to suggest that no Chelsea player was able to emulate the creative threat that Juan provided in those games that he missed. There is no getting away from the fact that if Jose Mourinho were to sell Juan then their title hopes would fade dramatically because he is such a high quality player that it would be severely difficult to replace. His impact on Chelsea’s league form has been phenomenal and would ultimately make Mourinho’s task of winning the league more difficult.
Chelsea fans will be hoping that we will see a similar tale with Eden Hazard’s progression as of next season he will be more experienced like Juan and therefore hope to achieve a similar impact. The relationship that these two players already have is magical, exemplified perfectly through the destruction of Tottenham’s defence with Mata scoring the winning goal from Hazard’s perfectly weighted through ball. If this relationship blossoms under the guidance of Mourinho then Chelsea will play some very attractive football next season. However for this to happen then it is crucial that Juan stays at the club that has enabled him to develop into one of the world’s best.
From the discussion above, it is obvious that it would be a calamitous decision if Chelsea were to sell Mata. Juan Mata has has worked with the last remains of the Chelsea ‘old guard’ and developed their winning mentality. Mata is at that perfect age where we are likely to see his best years ahead of him and not only would it be a shame for Chelsea and a blow to their title ambitions but also a loss to the league if he were to move abroad. England craves to see those moments of pure genius that Mata possesses, that absolute dazzle, such as his beautifully lofted pass to Demba Ba that knocked Manchester United out of the FA cup.
Hopefully for Chelsea and their fans sake that this is his agent trying to work Juan a new deal which in my view he fully deserves.
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