Arsenal fans have been using Juan Mata as a stick to beat Arsene Wenger with for the last two years. The Gunners were close to landing the ex-Valencia star back in 2011, but a deal fell through and Chelsea were able to leap in and snap him up.
Since then, Arsenal have won nothing. They’ve spent the last couple of years struggling to earn Champions League football. It’s hardly blockbuster stuff.
Whilst Chelsea have enjoyed mixed levels of success, Juan Mata has made a colossal impact at Stamford Bridge. With his quick feet, accurate passing and expert vision, the little Spanish talent was one of the Premier League’s stand-out players last season.
Last year he grabbed 11 Premier League goals and 13 assists as he established himself as one of Chelsea’ most valuable players.
So naturally, Arsenal fans remain unimpressed that Wenger let this deal slip through his fingers. Whilst the Gunners probably wouldn’t have gone for Santi Cazorla, had they captured Juan Mata, it still looks like a missed opportunity.
Yet, in a bizarre twist of fate, The Daily Mail claim that Arsenal could well end up signing Juan Mata, a full two-years after they first registered an interest in him.
Despite Mata’s fine performances last season, his Chelsea future has come under scrutiny since the arrival of new boss Jose Mourinho. It seems that Mourinho is looking to stamp his mark on the squad and prove that nobody is bigger than the club as a whole (or perhaps himself).
Something definitely seems to be going on behind the scene. Last week it was claimed that Chelsea were willing to use him (or David Luiz) as a makeweight in their bid to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United.
These reports were later rubbished by Jose Mourinho, but you have to wonder where they came from. It does seem as though his Chelsea future is under threat. That’s surely why Arsenal are looking to re-ignite their interest in the 25-year-old.
Arsenal themselves, have been linked with Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini this summer, so it’s possible that they’re on the hunt for a technically-gifted midfielder.
Juan Mata certainly fits that billing. He’s one of the most naturally gifted midfielders in the world and would walk into pretty much any team. The thought of him playing alongside Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla certainly has its appeal.
There’s no talk of his price-tag, but I’m sure Chelsea wont be too keen to sell to a rival. He’d probably cost a fortune, but he would be the kind of marquee signing that Arsene Wenger seems to be hunting this summer.
When it comes to Juan Mata, it may be a case of better late than never for Arsenal.
What’s your take? Should the Gunners be chasing Juan Mata?
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