Forget De Bruyne and Salah – Juan Mata remains Jose Mourinho’s biggest Chelsea mistake

It is often brought up about the players that Jose Mourinho allowed to fall by the wayside at Chelsea.

Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku are the names are often named as those who Blues fans will always regret losing.

However, one player who stands out almost above all others is Juan Mata.

The talented left-footed maestro came into the side from Valencia in the summer of 2011 and made an immediate impact.

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Chelsea had one of the most creative number 10s in the Premier League, and week in, week out he performed to a top level.

In his first Premier League season he made 13 assists, while he backed that up in his second campaign he got another 12 assists, this time with 12 goals.

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Of course, Mata played a huge part of that historic Champions League victory in 2012, whipping in the corner for Didier Drogba to nod home.

A year later, the Spaniard was the man who provided the ball from another corner on to the head of Branislav Ivanovic for the Europa League final winner.

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Mata’s fine performances did not go unnoticed by the Chelsea supporters, and he was named Player of the Year for both of his seasons with the club.

So going into the 2013/14 campaign, expectation was high on what Mata could produce once more at Stamford Bridge, while Jose Mourinho returned to west London to replace interim boss Rafa Benitez.

Fernando Torres, Juan Mata of Chelsea celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany
(Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

However, the excitement came to nothing when the Spaniard was unceremoniously dumped on to the sidelines, with Oscar becoming the go-to man.

It was a strange moment, see a player who had inspired…


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