When Jose Mourinho first arrived in London on June 3, no Chelsea fan would have suspected that the two time Chelsea Player of the Year would become so disposable.
Nonetheless, that is what has happened as Juan Mata's fall from grace continues to baffle the whole football community.
With this, clubs have taken the opportunity to prize away Chelsea's star asset, with Atletico Madrid being the first to enquire about the Spanish midfielder's availability, followed by Tottenham and Arsenal making audacious offers.
Chelsea and Mourinho deny they want to sell but the Spaniard has barely featured this season and leaving him out of the squad against Manchester United was a big statement.
With Chelsea's summer spending acquiring the service of Andre Schurrle and Willian, this will prove difficult for Mata to get playing time.
Unlike Mata, Eden Hazard is starter while Oscar is only 20 and has age on his side. Moreover, the latter is already an established player in Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, while Mata will struggle to break into the Spanish side ahead of David Silva, Pedro and Jesus Navas.
History shows that Mourinho prefers direct over silky, tricky wingers. In his first term as Chelsea manager he favoured Damien Duff as someone who he could count on to get crosses in the box, whereas players like Robben were made surplus to requirement and were packed off to Real Madrid - a decision Chelsea later went on to regret.
Mourinho wants to play high-tempo and intense football and this includes a tireless work ethic from the four most advanced players in his 4-2-3-1 formation. It is believed that he doesn't see Mata as someone with the energy to track back and help the defence, while still controlling the midfield.
This happened with Joe Cole when Mourinho tried to teach him to play more beneficially for the team. One of Cole's lowest points would have been when he was subbed out after just 26 minutes against Fulham.
Mata is a Chelsea favourite and is one of the few signing which has been a success in the post-Mourinho era, but also he still is one of the creative forces in Stamford Bridge.
He is intelligent and mature enough to figure out that if Mourinho doesn't appreciate his extraordinary talent then another lucky manager and team will welcome him with open arms.
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