A look back at Juan Mata: Did Mourinho's gamble pay off?

Mata’s sale to Manchester United raised a few eyebrows, but in the end it seemed like a win-win-win situation. Mata would get his playing time which would aid in his bid to fly to Brazil, United would get a world-class player, and Chelsea would, hopefully, use a stronger United to take some points off their title challengers.

Close to 3 months after that mega-transfer, it looks more like a lose-lose-lose. Mata has been unable to have an Ozil-esque effect on United’s limping campaign, lost his place in the Spanish national team and United lost 3-0 to both City and Liverpool. What looked like a promising transfer has not turned out quite as planned. But who stood to gain (or lose) the most from this transfer? And why hasn’t Mourinho’s gamble paid off? We take a look at how this transfer has turned out for each of the 3 parties involved:

Juan Mata

Missing out on the final Spanish squad before the preliminary World cup squad is named certainly isn’t ideal for him, and considering the huge competition for a place on that plane to Brazil, Mata may not have enough time left to impress Vicete Del Bosque. His lack of playing time in the start of the season at Chelsea saw him leave for United, and even though he has found minutes much easier to come by at Old Trafford, his disappointing individual season will definitely hamper his chances of going to the World Cup.


With Diego Costa swearing his allegiance to the “La Roja”, it very likely means that there is one less spot for Mata to fight for. And by the look of how things are going, it seems very unlikely that he will be able to kick one of Koke, Thiago, Martinez, Cazorla or Silva out of the national side.



Well, where do we start. Mourinho’s vision of a Mata-inspired United demolishing Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City certainly hasn’t materialized, and the man the pushed Juan Mata out of the team isn’t performing nearly as well as at the start of the season. Oscar’s imperious form at the start of the season hasn’t replicated in the business end of it, and it may be costing Chelsea the Premier League or Champions League crowns considering that our other creative spark, Eden Hazard, is out injured.


Mourinho’s gamble certainly is backfiring against Chelsea, and one might just wonder if Mata could have filled those creative boots and pick up crucial wins over Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland.


Manchester United

They bought a ready made play-maker, full of talent and potential, raring to go after 6 months in exile, yet Moyes never really understood how to utilize this man. Playing him on the right wing was never going to work out, and despite constantly being United’s best player since his move, his performances have been left wanting, and its probably down to the manager rather than the player.


 Now, with Ryan Giggs (and possibly Van Gaal after June) in charge, United must hope that their manager finds the world-class player hidden in their 37-million pound player again.

Well, thats the end of my article. Hope you enjoyed it! #ktbffh



  1. Anonymous says

    I dont think there is any point in discussing the Mata situation.. We all know he was not happy due to lack of playing time, Oscar was playing well and deserved to start… and the 2 players we bought with that money have been really gr8 for us. There is no guarantee that Mata would have won us the games we lost. I mean we have lost matches in which he has played.. And he wanted to leave.. we at Chelsea never stop a player from leaving.. Same was the case with Mata..

  2. kc says

    What a terrible write up! Osca and Juan can be liken to two beautiful cars; Bugatti and Ferarri. Let’s say Mourinho decided to ditch a Ferarri for a Bugatti. Osca has (probably) scored more goals than Juan despite tracking back and playing less minutes. I think we should keep calm and stop thinking “what might have been” if Juan Mata had stayed. Don’t forget, we are better off because we have conceeded less goals. A Mata midfield will always create and leak goals at the same time because he doesn’t track back. Don’t forget Oscar is 3yrs younger than Juan Mata. I will choose Oscar over Mata, any day, any time.

  3. Shiloh says

    Stop being delusional about Mata he’s gone And we have a great young team, Last season we had him And still lost certain games we shouldn’t have. Willian is doing a great job we Just need a finisher of our end products in the final third.

  4. Zane says

    Think about it. A year ago we were too reliant on the Spaniard and look what we transformed into through the guidance of Jose Mourinho.

    We don’t rely on any player like we’re not even relying on our strikers at the moment to score goals. This is evolution and next season we will be even stronger simply because Mourinho will obviously try and get in a foward who will score atleast every second game. Add that to our already prolific grinding mids and I call them prolific because they can score goals like we’re witnessing now. We won in the deal.

  5. Fik says

    Chelsea is z most benefited from z deal. Z business that blue done can by 3 more talented physicaly more strong able to attack, defend and create chance and easily win the ball interms of heading & speed. Buying of Matic + Salah + Zouma >>>> Mata! Z benefit of blue is much more … More has to go in summer to more strong full of talent physical players create best chance for nothing #10 ….

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