Juan Mata
Chelsea made a big mistake allowing Juan Mata to sign for Manchester United in 2014.

Juan Mata’s departure is still a touchy subject for the Chelsea faithful.

The Spaniard’s superb performances during his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge earned him justified comparisons to the likes of Gianfranco Zola. He was also named Chelsea player of the year two seasons in a row, which was testament to just how important he was for us.

Juan Mata Franck Ribery
Chelsea’s Juan Mata battles with Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery in the 2012 Champions League final.

Inventive, entertaining, and perhaps most importantly, passionate. Mata knew what it meant to play for Chelsea, which is a rarity in modern football.

However, Jose Mourinho had no interest in prolonging the love affair, and opted to leave Mata out in the cold before selling him to Manchester United. It was a difficult pill to swallow, and the wounds are yet to fully heal.

The second coming?

When Mata joined Man United in January 2014, the BBC reported that his contract with the Red Devils would expire in the summer of 2018. There have been no suggestions in the media that the Spaniard is in line for a contract extension, meaning there is a genuine possibility he leaves Old Trafford on a free transfer in seven-to-eight months time.

Should Chelsea be interested?

The opportunity to sign a player like Mata on a free does not come around often, and you’d have to think that he’d be interested in returning to West London.

If Antonio Conte perseveres with 3-4-3, there may not be room in the starting lineup for Mata, but if the switch to 3-5-2 is going to be a long-term solution – Mata may be able to slot into the midfield just ahead of N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Antonio Conte
Could Antonio Conte alter his formation to accommodate former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata?

Make. It. Happen.

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Ken ekwuribe
Ken ekwuribe
2 years ago

He would be good competition for Fabregas