Chelsea FC and Manchester United have essentially wrapped up a $61 million transfer for Spanish attacking midfielder Juan Mata. Mata will undergo a medical soon and seal the deal. This comes as a shock to many, but this is a deal that could potentially benefit both clubs greatly.
Mata, reigning two time Chelsea Player of the Year, is considered by some to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the entire Barclays Premier League. The Spaniard scored 32 goals and added 46 assists for the club in his first two seasons. Mata is only 25 and was quickly becoming one of the best young players in all of England. No one could seem to stop his masterful passing or knack for finding the back of the net. Opposing managers couldn’t stop him at all.
The manager who finally did put an end to his fantastic start in the Premier League was his own. Jose Mourinho, often a controversial figure, made it clear on his return to Chelsea that Mata was not in his long term plan. Mata has almost been a non-factor during Mourinho’s regime and hardly gotten any playing time. Youngsters Eden Hazard and Oscar have really shined for the Blues this season and pushed Mata to the background.
Mata is arguably one of the best players in the world, but as long as Mourinho is hesitant to play him there is no reason to keep him, especially with that lucrative profit Chelsea will make off his transfer. Mourinho is clearly set on his midfield and selling a player that doesn’t factor into the long term plan for $61 million will be brilliant for the club. By selling Mata, Mourinho is clearly putting his faith in his other midfielders, and Chelsea will need them to affirm that trust to win silverware this season.
Manchester United is reeling this season and was just knocked out of the Capital One Cup with a penalty loss to Sunderland. The Red Devils have no chance to win any silverware during David Moyes’s debut campaign. Having a midfield maestro like Mata join their ranks could do wonders for the Manchester club. This season will go down as a failure, but Mata could help the Red Devils be title contenders again next year.
The third party involved in this deal is the one that could benefit the most. Mata is looking to have a huge increase in wages and also has a great chance of increased playing time as soon as possible. That’s essential as the Spaniard desperately needs to impress this season before the World Cup. Spain is considered to be one of the favorites again and has an incredibly stacked team. Mata is an outsider for the national team and needs to have a significant turn around this season to play an important role in Brazil.
Six months ago this deal would have seemed impossible, but with both clubs heading in opposite directions, anything is possible.