Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has explained why Juan Mata has been left out of two of the Blues' first three Premier League matches.
The Portuguese has already been made to emphasise Mata's importance to the team amidst continuing transfer speculation linking the 25-year-old with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
According to SkySports, Mourinho has defended his decision to give the Spanish international just 65 minutes playing time so far this season.
"He played against Aston Villa and I decided to put him on the bench against Manchester United," he said.
Chelsea's number ten has not had a proper pre-season for over a year since playing in the London 2012 Olympic Games for Spain. Since then, Mata has played at Euro 2012 for Spain, then he was a regular in Chelsea's longest season in their history as the Blues played nearly 20 games more than any other Premier league side.
The skilful midfielder then finished last season with a trip to Brazil where Spain got to the final of the Confederations Cup and Mourinho believes this extensive run of games has forced him to give Mata a gradual introduction to the 2013/14 season.
"He had a very small pre-season after the Confederations Cup and during that pre-season he was injured," added Mourinho.
Arsene Wenger recently confessed his appreciation for the Chelsea player but the Gunners have yet to make a move for Mata.
Mourinho however, is still remaining adamant that the Chelsea Player of the Season for 2012/13 is not for sale.
"There is no chance Juan goes," he concluded.
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