Jose Mourinho is known for his physical approach to the game, with his counter-attacking tactics and deep lying gameplay where he focuses more on strong defensive dimensions of the team.
His first successful stint at Chelsea was achieved by employing the 4-3-3 tactic, with three robust midfielders, two flamboyant wingers and the mercurial presence of Didier Drogba in attack.
This tactic was based on rock solid defensive foundations and the ability to create the counter-attacking moves by quick players on the wing, with a deep lying playmaking.
If Chelsea's formation changes back to Mourinho's preferred choice from the earlier employed 4-2-3-1 tactic, then Juan Mata will become surplus to the required squad, from here being the speculation of his transfer rises, with a swap deal with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney being suggested.
Mata is a creative attacker who is usually effective behind the striker or as an attacking midfielder, constantly maintaining seamless gameplay for goal scoring opportunities and even attack in front of goal.
The employment of somewhat defensive tactic may hamper his influence in the game.
In a 4-3-3 formation, the Spaniard will be constantly used as a winger, the position in which he is not as effective.
The combative nature of the midfield will not suit him as he is not robust enough for the three man midfield like his teammates Lampard, Essien and Mikel.
Mata is not the fastest player and is largely effective in intricate touches and passes, rather than running at defenders and whipping up crosses from the wing. Last season, for example, Mata averaged just 0.6 dribble per games compared to Eden Hazard, who averaged about 1.8 dribble per game.
It's clear that Mata will not be effective in this counter attacking system. But Mourinho assuring him of having an important role in the team, it seems that the 'Special One' may deploy the 4-2-1-3 formation, the tactic he used during his Real Madrid reign and play Mata in a deep lying linking midfielder like Mesut Ozil at Real.
Only the coming season will tell what's in store for Juan Mata and Chelsea but the pre-season friendlies will give him an overview about how he is going to be utilised.
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