Most observers thought would think it was going to take a miracle for Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to sell one of his best players in January, so how and why did he allow Manchester United manager David Moyes to pull off a coup in acquiring magician's Juan Mata’s services?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that it's never the best course of action – (understatement) to sell one of your players to a Premier League rival. So what was Mourinho thinking?
On the face of it, there are any number of reasons why it doesn’t seem wise: Mata's departure ends a successful two and a bit-year stint with the club, winning The F.A Cup, Champions League and Europa League, along with being voted the fan's player of the year, two years running.
But when Mourinho declared that Oscar would be his designated number 10 the writing was on the wall for the Spaniard, and he spent most of this season sitting on the bench, something I'm sure Jermaine Defoe will tell you is about as much fun as taking a right hook from Adebayo Akinfenwa.
When the chance to start for Manchester United came knocking it was likely too good to pass up. The deal was done in a "Mata" of days (see what I did there?) and soon enough Blues fans were resigned to the idea of Chelsea without their favourite player. There wasn’t as much fuss as you might have anticipated. Could it be that Chelsea fans quickly began to see it as I do? - as a clever and beneficial piece of business for Chelsea.
1) The title race: Arsene Wenger has already complained about the deal, claiming Chelsea "play with the rules" of the transfer window because Manchester United have played against the Blues for the second and final time this year.
However they still play, City, Arsenal and Liverpool again this season. While Wenger seems to moan about everything he does in fact, have a point. Chelsea are in no danger of the transfer coming back to haunt them this season. A team with Adnan Januzaj, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie... well I'm sure you can imagine.
While the title race is out of reach for United, fourth place on the other hand is not, and this signing can definitely inspire the Red Devil’s to win their remaining games, especially the ones against the big clubs, which will do Chelsea's title chances.
2) Financial fair play: After years of people and small clubs complaining about billionaires entering the game and “buying titles” so to speak, (for examples see Chelsea and Manchester City) UEFA decided to put an end to that by introducing a cage fight of sorts where all the big boys have to play nicely under the title of: financial fair play.
The system aims to stop clubs overspending and preventing Roman Abramovich from buying anyone he wants.
Fortunately for him though, with the sale of Juan Mata landing Chelsea a cool £37.1 million for a substitute, the club are free to invest that money without worrying about being sanctioned. The West London outfit were quick to spend an initial £11 million on Mata’s replacement- Mohamed Salah, who has arrived from Basel. Leaving them with a spare £26.1 million.
Even with the additions of Nemanja Matic and Kurt Zouma they still have more than enough to make a move for Southampton’s Luke Shaw.
Not only that, but the rumoured arrival of Diego Costa in the summer from Atletico Madrid in a swap deal involving on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois means things appear are looking up for Chelsea.
The deal has become a good move from the suave Portuguese supremo. Getting rid of the dead weight and signing players that could potentially make a difference. It seems Mourinho’s renovation is going according to plan.
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