Like any good sailer Mourinho has seen a sinking ship and offered a life line. Not that the life line will come cheaply because well lets face it if its between life and death cost doesn’t Mata. If you’ve yet to figure out what I am talking about from my thinly veiled PUNs, I’ll give you another hint. Its Juan Mata. And yes just like Mourinho has said all year, the Spaniard does have a price tag attached to his curly head. However the talk of Mata being transferred to Manchester United would be a devastating blow to Chelsea. Not only would they be giving hope to a squad that most Chelsea fans find deplorable, but sacrificing one of their best players with a busy summer upcoming could prove fateful. While Chelsea’s midfield is currently deep and deadly, it may not remain that way.
Let’s start with why Mata is such a crucial piece to any teams puzzle. While he lacks the defensive prowess that Mourinho desires in a number 10, his ability to pick a pass, while just above average for a Spaniard, is world class. We haven’t seen much of it this year with his lack of playing time, but in the previous two years he’s been the lynch pin to Chelsea attacks. The chipped pass to Demba Ba last year is a perfect example of his capabilities. Mata opens up shut games and used to provide a spark to a sporadically flat side. For this he has been awarded with the love of the Stamford Bridge faithful, but not that of the special one.
Chelsea also has some questions they will have to answer this summer with
many of their stars. Lampard, Cole and Terry are growing closer to the end of their careers and are in the last years of their respective contracts. PSG is knocking on the door for Eden Hazard and it doesn’t look like Chelsea can put a price tag high enough on the Belgian to discourage the Parisian giants. Additionally, David Luiz, who seems to have found a home alongside fellow Brazilian Ramires, is a target for Barcelona. On top of that, Ramires seems to be on the wish list for Barca’s big rivals Real Madrid. Combine this with 2 strikers who have both admitted to exit strategies from Stamford Bridge, and you have a potential recipe for chaos.
Chelsea do have some advantages. The obvious is the brilliant mind of Mourinho. The Portuguese boss actually seems to do better with change then consistency. Oscar, Willian and Schurlle also all look like they are set for the long haul at Chelsea. Plus a lot can happen in a month. However, Chelsea’s strength this year isn’t in their starting 11 but in their depth. And while fielding the strongest team possible is important, what Mourinho does best is working his way through a campaign. With 38 games, plus a Champons League push, hopes of an FA Cup, and a stab at the League cup, depth is important.
I am not saying that Chelsea can’t afford to sell Mata. In fact if he is not going to play, selling him for 40 million and in turn spending that money on a striker could prove beneficial for the Blues. I am also not an expert on whats going on in the minds of those at Chelsea. I do know that Hazard is a PSG fan. I do know that for many South Americans it is a dream to play at Camp Nou or the Bernabeau. I also know that all three teams have pockets deep enough to make those moves happen. Despite all this though, Chelsea can’t afford to sell Mata to Manchester United. The Reds are living on a prayer and the introduction of the Spaniard combined with the return of Van Persie and Rooney could prove to be just the spark that United need.
For more on possible January moves check this out!
If you also wonder what team does the best with their cash check out this Hambino article!