With the return of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Juan Mata during the course of this summer's transfer window.
Mata has been an outstanding player for Chelsea during his two-year tenure at the club, assisting an incredible 55 times and scoring 32 goals, making him one of the best attacking-midfielders in the world and a firm fan favourite at Stamford Bridge.
However since the start of the new season, the two-time Chelsea Player of the Year has found it hard to break into a competitive Chelsea team and has only played 65 minutes this season - often finding himself on the bench.
Hence it was only a matter of time before his future at the club was thrown into doubt and the likes of PSG, Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona became interested in acquiring the services of the 25-year-old.
Several critics also voiced their opinion, urging Mata to leave Chelsea for the benefit of his individual career with an eye on the World Cup next year.
Such speculation was put to bed when Jose Mourinho made it very clear that Mata does feature in his plans for this season.
The Spanish international eventually ended up staying at Chelsea despite several attempts to lure him away from Chelsea during the deadline day of the transfer window. Recent reports also point to the fact that Mata is happy at the club and is willing to fight for his place.
I strongly believe that Mata has made the right decision to stay at Chelsea because it is the best move for his career. The playmaker has thrived at Chelsea during his time in England and it was at the club where he truly established himself as one of the best in the business. A move to any other club may cause him to change his style of play and therefore may affect his game.
Besides, he has formed an excellent partnership with Oscar and Eden Hazard, making Chelsea a very dangerous attacking force in Europe. This was evident last season with the players combining very well towards the end of last season and helped push Chelsea to a third place finish.
Mata may not be a starter for Chelsea just yet, however with Mourinho insisting that he is a part of his plans this season, he will get his opportunity in the team this season. I am confident that he will take full advantage of the opportunity and cement his place in the team.
There is a lot of competition in the attacking midfield department at Chelsea with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Shurrle all competing for a spot in the team with Mata. With the increased competition, Mata’s game will only improve, as there is no scope for mistakes. Only world-class players thrive in competition and there is no reason why he won't benefit from this situation.
Lastly, Mata has developed a special relationship with the Chelsea fans and is a firm fan favourite at the club. He is destined to be a Chelsea legend if he does eventually have a lengthy stay at Stamford Bridge.
While several players leave their respective clubs in pursuit of more money or individual success, it is nice to see a player showing his loyalty and willingness to fight for his place in the team.
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