For the past two seasons, Juan Mata has been Chelsea's best player with no strong competition from other players. So, why is Jose Mourinho keeping the star man away from the starting XI?
After signing from Valencia in 2011, Juan Mata has quickly become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. He quickly established himself as one of Chelsea's best players and worth the £23.5 million Chelsea splashed out to pay for him.
His valiant performances in his first two seasons rewarded him with back-to-back Chelsea player of the season awards, as voted for by the fans. During this time, he was one of the first names on the team sheet.
But since the return of the enigmatic Jose Mourinho, Mata has rarely featured. Featuring mostly as a substitute and in cup games. Like in the previous seasons, Mata played to the best of his ability and spurred Chelsea on. The 1-1 draw with Tottenham is a prime example of this. Mata came off the bench and set up John Terry with a peach of a ball to equalise.
Jose Mourinho has frequently said that Oscar is his first choice playmaker, ahead of Mata. And in order to feature in Chelsea's starting line-up, he will need to adapt and play in a more wider role.
In Chelsea's Capital One Cup game against Arsenal, the former Valencia man started in his favoured position, just behind the striker. And he put in a man of the match performance. Scoring the 2nd goal in a 2-0 win over their London rivals, Mata's first goal of the season.
This midweek performance clearly impressed Jose Mourinho as he was named in the starting line up for Chelsea's game against Newcastle United. However Mata couldn't help Chelsea as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat that led Mourinho back to the question; Juan Mata or Oscar?
Both Mata and Oscar are match winning players and deserve a place in the Chelsea line up. We will see in Chelsea's upcoming fixtures.
Do you think Juan Mata should start for Chelsea? Or do you agree with Jose Mourinho and think that Oscar deserves the CAM spot ahead of Mata? Comment below.
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