There are an increasing number of reports linking Juan Mata with a move away from Chelsea before the end of the summer transfer window.
Speculation has peaked with the club having just signed Willian, who plays the same position as the talented Spaniard, but Jose Mourinho will still need to retain the services of his midfielder if he wants to challenge for the titles that he became so accustomed to during his last stint with the Blues.
With the arrival of Brazilian playmaker Willian to Stamford Bridge and the repeated bids for Wayne Rooney, along with the fact that Mourinho decided to drop Mata for the first game of the season against Hull, the rumours that started at the beginning of the summer, concerning Juan Mata's future at Chelsea, have been given a new lease of life.
There have even been suggestions that he could be used to lure Rooney to Stamford Bridge as part of a cash-plus-player deal. These could be valid claims, but if they are true, they show an uncharacteristic lack of judgement from Jose Mourinho.
First of all, it would make little economic sense to sell Juan Mata in return for a player who has been out of favour, used as a substitute by Manchester United and frequently injured.
Although at his finest he is a very substantial threat in attack, it is rare for Rooney to be in the kind of sparkling form that earned him his reputation in the England squad, whereas Mata is almost impossibly consistent, turning out every match with an at least good, but usually excellent, performances.
Although they are valued at more or less the same price - £45million for Mata and £50million for Rooney - the amounts takes into account that the latter’s contract lasts another eight years whereas Mata has only two years left on his.
Therefore by spending £5million more, Mourinho would be acquiring a player who is less regular and less hard working, not something you would expect someone experienced in football economics to do.
Equally as important is the fact that, apart from his evident footballing qualities, Mata also provides some of the experience which Mourinho will need in his team to be successful. It is all very well relying on players such as Eden Hazard or new signing Willian, but those two players cannot be relied upon absolutely for very high profile matches, as the first is still young and relatively inexperienced at only 22-years-of-age, and the latter will need to adapt to the side, something that will take time, especially at Champions League level.
Naturally, Mourinho is one of the best tacticians currently coaching in Europe and doubtless has competitive back-up plans for all his players, should he be forced to part ways with them.
However, one can’t help but think that if he does choose to let Mata leave Chelsea, a club that has been shaped around him in the last two years, it could be end his title hopes in the best competitions.
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