With the high-profile arrival of Brazilian playmaker Willian, plus a host of other attacking players this summer, Juan Mata's Chelsea future is in doubt.
Yet, the little Spaniard is arguably one of the west London outfits' best players, so why is he continuously overlooked by Jose Mourinho?
Here, GMS Academy member Ben Thornley looks at Mata's top 10 moments in a Chelsea shirt.
Have a look for yourself and leave your comments as to why the Blues' no.10 is deemed not good enough for their first XI in the box provided...
10. Earning Chelsea’s players’ player of the year
After setting up his team mates over 30 times and earning a reputation as one of the most creative players in the league, Juan Mata was voted as Chelsea’s players’ player of the year by his own teammates.
9. Scoring on his Chelsea debut
With Chelsea 2-1 up against Norwich in an early Premier League match, Andre Villas-Boas brought on new signing Juan Mata for his Chelsea debut. A mistake from Ritchie de Laet deep into injury time put Mata through on goal and he slotted to start his career off at the club in the best way possible.
8. Earning Chelsea’s player of the year in his first season at the club
After scoring 12 goals and earning many assists in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, Juan Mata was voted Chelsea’s player of the year after just a year at the club. He was vital in Chelsea’s FA Cup and Champions League successes and became a fans’ favourite due to his passing and shooting ability.
7. Voted into the Premier League PFA Team of the year 2013
12 Premier League goals from midfield, one of the main reasons behind Chelsea qualifying for the Champions league and becoming arguably the best central midfielder in the league, Juan Mata was deservedly in the PFA team of the year for 2012-13. He was also on the shortlist for PFA player of the year and FWA player of the year.
6. Being crowned Chelsea’s player of the year for the second year running
With the arrivals of fellow creative midfielders Oscar, Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Victor Moses, many people questioned if Juan Mata would be able to emulate the form he showed the season before. These arrivals made him a better player as he scored 20 goals in all competitions and was voted Chelsea’s player of the year for the second year
running in his second year at the club.
5. Comparisons to Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola
When you score 80 goals for Chelsea, get crowned the clubs greatest ever player in 2003, have your kit number retired in your name and get put on the shortlist for the best ever Premier League player, you are definitely a special player and Zola certainly was.
After just two years at Chelsea, Juan Mata has been heavily compared to this Chelsea great due to his creativity and eye for goal. John Terry recently brought up the comparison at the Chelsea end of season awards and if Mata can keep up this brilliant form he has shown at Chelsea, he will surely join Zola in the list of Chelsea greats.
4. Man of the match in the FA Cup final
With Liverpool finishing their season off in fine form, Chelsea knew they had a very hard fixture when they met the Anfield side in the FA Cup final at Wembley in 2012. Chelsea, who had one eye on the Champions League final a couple of weeks later, took a deserved lead when a beautiful Juan Mata pass slid Ramires through to put the Blues 1-0 up.
Didier Drogba wrapped up the game with a neat finish, but the win was due to a special performance from Mata. After creating loads of chances throughout for his teammates, he was subbed off to a standing ovation from the Chelsea crowd and earned the man of the match award in his first major final for Chelsea.
3. Scoring the winner at Old Trafford
Without Champions League qualification, no team can attract the best players or managers so it was vital Chelsea got a place in Europe’s biggest competition. Chelsea needed points and three points at already champions Manchester United would pretty much have them qualified.
Chelsea dominated for most of the game and in the 86th minute, a slightly deflected Mata shot rippled into the back of the net and Chelsea went on to qualify for the Champions league, sign a couple more big names and convince Jose Mourinho to re-join the club.
2. Scoring 32 goals and making countless assists from midfield in just 2 years
To score 32 goals from midfield in just two years, you can be forgiven for thinking Chelsea have found a replacement for Frank Lampard. He has scored three times against Manchester United, three times against Arsenal and twice against Tottenham.
1. Inspiring Chelsea to two major European trophies
The one trophy Chelsea desperately called for was the Champions League crown and in Mata’s first season, he was at the heart of the team that won the competition. After scoring on his Champions League debut for Chelsea, he netted a vital away goal against Napoli to see Chelsea progress to the quarter finals.
A year on from winning the Champions league title, Mata inspired Chelsea to Europa League success, scoring one goal and setting up the winner in the final.
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