One of the finest products of the infamous Real Madrid Youth Academy and our savior in domestic competitions. The acquisition of Juan Mata is regarded by many as the greatest contribution made by Andre Villas Boas to the ageing Chelsea squad. Brought in as the first step to build the future generation, he ended his first season, grabbing the second highest number of assists in the league below fellow Spaniard David Silva.
“He’s a player who scores and assists and he can add to any squad in the world.” said former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas when queried on the transfer which prevented Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City a chance to sign him.
Grouped to play against Chelsea with his team-mates at Valencia in the Champions League, he made a move to West London and came on as a substitute in the dying minutes of the game against Norwich. A defensive error caught the eyes of the youngster as he slotted the ball on the left bottom corner of the Norwich goal. A goal on debut predicts a bright future for any player as was proved on the 19th of May. He was primarily brought in to reignite the fire within fellow Spanish hitman Fernando Torres. Safely put, he has done exceptionally well as his inch-perfect assists saw flashes of the Liverpool Torres.
He definitely has had mixed feelings after joining Chelsea. Skepticism was never a thought in the minds of the fans as Mata had an incredible debut. He usually started on the left of the midfield, bringing on assists and goals that were crucial in pinching atleast a 6th place in the League. As Malouda was largely overlooked, Juan flourished as he found himself at the heat of the battle. Against Manchester United, which ended in a surprising scoreline of 3-3, he scored a ferocious volley at De Gea’s goal which left the goalkeeper with no answers. In the same match , when the scoreline was 3-2, Chelsea launched another attack to find another goal to put the game beyond United’s reach. As Mata got the ball, he fringed it right back to John Terry which left Lampard frustrated as he wanted to continue with the attack. And the reason for his decision? United could launch a threatening counter attack as only Cahill and Terry were behind the half-line. When you are leading by a margin of only 1 goal, playing safe would always be the best choice. Not many understood what went through the mind of this genius but if it wasn’t for him Chelsea would have found it very difficult to claim the silverware that they did last season.
With the all-important signing of player-in-demand Eden Hazard, Chelsea are on the verge of signing Brazillian power-house Hulk who could fit into the right wing and rotate with Marko Marin while Mata fits into the left.
With not much to be said, Mata has touched the hearts of the fans since he joined us. A quality signing for someone who bursts with creativity and plays with flair. You could say he was not used properly in the game against Barcelona as his team-mates parked the bus, but did anyone notice him screaming in delight as Lampard dispossessed Messi to send Ramires through who eventually assisted Drogba’s goal in the first leg at the Bridge?
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Advice of the day to Chelsea fans : Watch the final again and again, and realize there are many important things that you’ve missed.