Juan Mata has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent performers since joining the West London club in 2011 but has slipped down the pecking order since the second coming of manger Jose Mourinho. Mourinho prefers to play Oscar in the number ten role which Mata thrives in, but Chelsea can’t let Mourinho throw Mata on the scrap pile.
Mourinho has rather infamously adversely affected the careers of a number of players during his career by forcing them to adapt their game in a manner which doesn’t play to their strengths, or sometimes not playing them at all; just ask Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ricardo Quaresma and Kaka.
Mata is a fantastic technical footballer and can’t be allowed to join this list. Mourinho must allow Mata to play to his attacking strengths, which, as the last two years have shown, are plentiful. Mourinho however, wants Mata to take on more defensive responsibilities and drop out into a wider, unfamiliar position if he is to hold down a starting berth in the team.
Mata knows where he is at his best at the pitch, and Mourinho must acknowledge this. The Spaniard is at a crucial stage in his career and needs games more than anything else. If he does not get games, his career will only go downhill.
It would be a crime against football to let such a wonderful talent go to waste. Surely Mata will look to play his football elsewhere should Mourinho not incorporate him into his team by January, which would be a huge loss.
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