Juan Mata is far and away my favorite player at Chelsea. He’s a joy to watch. He’s a player to emulate. Chelsea fans are clamoring for Mourinho to keep him. However, if we truly love Juan Mata it is time for us to let him go.
Mata clearly doesn’t fit in Mourinho’s team. He’s a square peg trying to fit in a round hole at Chelsea this season. If you love Juan Mata, you shouldn’t just let him go reluctantly, but you should WANT him to be sold. His production last season speaks for itself. He is a player of immense quality, far too much quality to reside on any team’s bench. He deserves better. He’s only 25. It’s not unrealistic to assume that he can improve his game for a few more seasons. He deserves the opportunity to reach his potential, and he will never reach it at Chelsea.
Mata deserves the best, but Chelsea too deserves the very best. Despite all Mata’s production last season, Chelsea finished 14 points behind United. This season (the one where Mata has been highly excluded) Chelsea has thrived and we find ourselves 12 points clear of United (That’s a 26 point swing since the end of last season for those that like math). Mata’s omission and the team’s marked improvement isn’t a coincidence. Not only is the team getting more results, but it looks better doing so. Oscar, Hazard and Willian are starting to link up very well behind the striker, but it is their defensive work-rates that have been particularly admiral. Willian and Hazard have flown back to help defend on the flanks. Oscar is flinging himself all over the pitch to make tackles. Mata just never has provided much when Chelsea lose the ball. People argue that he shouldn’t have to defend because of how much he provides offensively. Maybe he shouldn’t. Some teams would be okay with that philosophy… but he has to defend for a Jose Mourinho team.
Nobody can be bigger than the team. Chelsea was there long before Juan Mata came to Stamford Bridge, and will continue to be long after he exits. If you are a fan of Chelsea and a fan of Mata, it’s time to let him go. It’s best for both parties. Selling him to United may not be the smartest business move, but allowing him to depart is. It allows Chelsea to pocket some much needed money and for Mata to continue to develop. He’ll always be one of my favorites, but Mourinho seems to have deemed him surplus to requirements. Wherever he ends up, I’ll be rooting for him to excel (unless he’s playing Chelsea). I’m willing to let my favorite player go in his best interest… and more importantly in the best interest of Chelsea… If you’re truly a fan of Mata and MOST importantly a fan of Chelsea aren’t you willing to do the same?