The most irksome thing about this summer’s transfer window from a Chelsea point of view has been the constant speculation over Juan Mata’s future at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho has maintained that the player is not for sale, says he wants to keep quality rather than sell it and has categorically stated that there’s ‘no chance’ Mata is leaving Chelsea on several occasions, but the rumours persist.
Mourinho told the press following Mata’s omission from the starting XI against Manchester United at Old Trafford:
“There is no chance Juan goes.
“He had a very small pre-season after the Confederations Cup. And during that pre-season he was injured.
“He started training two days before we played the first league match.
“He played against Aston Villa and I decided to put him on the bench against United.”
The 25-year-old is a fan favourite in West London, he loves the city and the club, and has been our best player in the two seasons he’s spent here, so it’s natural that fans are upset with the rumours, especially when he’s been linked to lesser clubs (you know who you are), but is there anything to worry about?
Being as good as he is it isn’t a surprise that other clubs are interested in Mata and it would be even less of a surprise if they were to try and unsettle the Spaniard through the media in an attempt to create distance, perhaps friction, between him and the club/manager. There are those that also argue that he’s not a typical ‘Mourinho player’ which may be true to an extent, but he’s a Chelsea player and is already a perfect fit for the number 10 role in a formation we really ought to be sticking to.
Mourinho says that he left Mata out to rest him after a busy summer and I have no reason to doubt him. Roberto Di Matteo faced a similar situation last summer after the playmaker took part in both the European Championships as well as the Olympics. Mata started the season so-so but didn’t look 100% and after a well deserved rest he was firing on all cylinders again.
I don’t see Mata going anywhere this summer but the club should send a message to the player and to everyone else by rewarding the work that he’s already done by tying him down with a long-term contract on improved terms. I don’t know about you but I cannot wait to see Mata back in our starting line-up again and for this tiresome transfer window to close.