Juan Mata: 4 Things You Need to Know About Chelsea's New Signing
Chelsea FC, on Sunday, declared that they had reached an agreement with Valencia CF for the transfer of Juan Mata to the Blues. It was announced this Wednesday that the player had passed a medical and agreed personal terms.
He thus becomes the fourth signing of the summer transfer window for the West Londoners, following the arrivals of Thibaut Courtois, Oriol Romeu and Romelu Lukaku.
Andre Villas-Boas had confirmed his intention to boost numbers in midfield with a signing or two, and has had to beat off competition from London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham to rope in Mata for £26 million.
With the 23-year-old Spaniard being a major coup for the Blues, it is important that we get to know more about the man who was the star of the show at the U-21 European Championship this summer.
Here are the four things you need to know about Juan Mata.
He Is Fast and Skillful
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The good thing about Mata is that he is extremely fast and tricky, along with exceptional ball control. He knows how to beat his marker.
If played on the wings, he will give the Pensioners a different attacking dimension, as they tend not to exploit wide spaces much. They rely on their full backs for width.
The best way to give your forwards chances to score is to have a man who can deliver quality balls into the box regularly and this man is an expert at doing that.
He likes to cut inside too, and is very much in the mould of Arjen Robben.
He Is Versatile
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In the previous slide, I mentioned that Juan flourishes in a wide role. Actually, he is very versatile, and can play in a central position behind the striker just as well.
He might be the missing piece of the jigsaw for Chelsea. His creativity, along with his ability to prosper in a number of different attacking roles, makes him the player Chelsea so desperately required.
His defense-splitting passes, dribbling, tricks and clever movement are the characteristics that make him the player he is.
He Has the Stats to Back Him Up
When Chelsea's interest in Luka Modric became public knowledge, many critics quickly pointed out that the Croat's stats were not particularly impressive.
The same can't be said of Juan Mata. With 46 goals and 45 assists in 174 appearances for Valencia, his stats speak for themselves.
While stats don't tell the whole story, at least Mata has the figures to back up his talent.
He Has Age on His Side and Has Shown Leadership Qualities
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At 23, Mata still has a lot to learn about the beautiful game, but he has his best years ahead of him.
Chelsea is a club that has many experienced players, so signing players who will form the future backbone of the club is an important thing. With age on his side, Mata makes a great acquisition.
He demonstrated his leadership qualities with the Spain U-21 side, whom he led to European glory this summer. He has it in him to be future club captain.
I look forward to seeing Mata have a long and successful career in the blue of Chelsea.