John Terry used his programme notes ahead of Chelsea's encounter with West Ham to send a heartfelt farewell message to Juan Mata following the Spaniard's transfer to Manchester United.
Mata joined the Premier League champions for a club record £37 million last week after two-and-a-half years in west London, during which time he won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup.
The 25-year-old's departure to Old Trafford was prompted by a lack of regular action this season, with Mata starting only half of Chelsea games in the league prior to his transfer to Manchester United.
Mata was a popular character indeed at Stamford Bridge, being named the club's player of the season in consecutive years, and while he acquisition was heralded at Manchester United it was commiserated at Chelsea.
Terry has reinforced the strength of feeling towards the Spain international by the Chelsea players, but concedes the club owed Mata the opportunity to play more regular football elsewhere.
"We were all sad to see Juan leave at the end of last week," Terry wrote in the Chelsea programme.
"It has been a pleasure to play alongside him and he is one of the nicest guys you could meet but, even though he is a huge talent, we as a club owed him to let him go and play football. So good luck, mate - we all love you."
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