Amidst rumours of a possible sale in January, Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Juan Mata remains part of his plans and that the Spaniard cannot get game time because of the form of other players. Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Willian have all been stunning in recent weeks.
Mata, who has won Chelsea’s Player of the Year award for the last two seasons, has been on the bench in the last two matches. Mourinho says that Mata’s absence in the last two matches should not be linked with his reaction to being substituted in the 3-0 win over Southampton.
The same has been the case with Andre Schurrle, who did well in the 3-2 defeat against Stoke by scoring both our goals. According to Sky Sports, Mourinho said:
“The others (Oscar, Willian, Eden Hazard), they are playing very well and the team is playing very well.
“But we need other players. If the game goes on being 0-0 then Mata is coming into the game as he is a fantastic player. But the game went into another direction, we scored and then after that my brain worked in another way.
“But we need them. We need Mata, we need (Andre) Schurrle, we need these players as we cannot do it with three.
“Maybe in February maybe some are not in the best form and Juan is coming at the top of his game.”
This may be a plausible explanation from Mourinho, but Mata will undoubtedly be bemused by it. After all, he has been Chelsea’s best player by some distance in the last two seasons. He has so far been very professional about the situation, but his frustration seems to be growing by the day.
Several bookmakers have been offering odds of around 2/1 for Mata to join PSG in January.
The World Cup 2014 changes the dynamic of the situation entirely, as Mata would want to be part of the starting line-up ahead of the likes of David Silva. At 25 years of age, he is at the peak of his career. Will he accept Mourinho’s words and wait until February for his next chance?