Juan Mata has not only been one of the best, but also one of the consistent players for Chelsea over the last two years. Therefore, it was not least surprising to see him linked with a move to Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last few weeks. After the arrival of José Mourinho, there were suggestions that the Portuguese did not see Mata as part of his plans. The 25-year-old still has three years left on the five-year deal he signed in 2011.
It certainly did not make sense to hear Mourinho thinking about selling the best player the club. It only seemed like a transfer rumour that was started on behalf of the player’s agent to get himself a new deal.
Mata has now confirmed that the rumours linking him with a return to Spain are untrue.
“I don’t know where that came from. The last time I spoke with the club they told me I was a very important player to them and transmitted confidence in me.” – Mata
According to Sky Sports, the 25-year-old is looking forward to working with Mourinho. However, he did not hide his admiration for Real Madrid by saying that he can only say good words about the club where he spent much of his youth.
“I only have good words for Real Madrid. I was there for four years and they brought me up, both as a player and a person.” – Mata
Much of Mata’s success in the Chelsea team has come about playing in the hole just behind the striker. One can expect Mourinho to change the formation from a 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3, which has always been his preferred formation.
Will Mata have the same influence on the team in this new formation? Only time will tell.
Either way, Mata will probably remain as one of the best signings made during the Abramovich era. It is still surprising to know that he cost just £24 million, which seems like a bargain now, in 2011.