Champions League trophy, Europa League title, Chelsea players Player of the Year two years running. Ever since moving to the west London side in 2011, midfielder Juan Mata has been collecting silverware with ease. Quickly becoming a favorite among both fans and players alike for his silky footwork and fanciful passing, Mata secured his starting spot almost immediately.
Now, a little over two years later, not only does his spot look to be in jeopardy but his place at the club does as well. Seemingly, at no fault of his own, Mata has fallen out of favor with returning manager Jose Mourinho. A lack of defensive work is what has been deemed to be the reasoning behind benching one of the world’s best players.
Mourinho has spoken openly of his decision to hand Oscar the No. 10 role for his side. Oscar has since repaid this confidence with some really special displays, seemingly not too keen to move back to the right side of midfield.
Yet, this leaves little room for the little player dubbed “the Magician” by Chelsea faithful. This all-but-private situation has drawn major interest from a few big sides. Both Atletico Madrid and Juventus are reportedly set to offer half-season loan deals once the January transfer window opens.
This would be an offer possibly too good for Mata to pass up as his lack of playing time puts his spot in Spain’s World Cup squad in peril. Mata will surely be in constant contact with Mourinho over where he fits in his plans before it is too late.
On the other hand, fans may be seeing more of Mata if Chelsea believes these rumors carry serious weight. And who knows; maybe Mourinho’s shift to a 4-3-3 formation could see a spot for “the magician” on the right wing.