Juan Mata's 12/13 Season Is One Of The Greatest Ever From An Attacking Midfielder
Mata arrived at Stamford Bridge from Valencia in 2011 and as a diminutive playmaker, many wondered how he'd settle in the Premier League.
He helped the Blues to an unlikely Champions League triumph in his debut campaign, but the real fun began in his second season.
The Spaniard scored 19 goals and provided an astonishing 35 assists as Chelsea finished third and won the Europa League.
Juan Mata at Chelsea - El Maestro
In the (12/13) campaign, Mata hit 18 goals and 34 assists in all comps :clap: pic.twitter.com/wpmkBppuUM
- Pys (@CFCPys) September 19, 2020
Mata stood out ahead of club legend Frank Lampard as well as new recruits Eden Hazard and Oscar.
Chelsea sacked Roberto Di Matteo and hired Rafa Benitez partway through the season, but it didn't slow Mata down.
The summer of 2013 saw the club rehire Jose Mourinho and it signaled the beginning of the end for Mata.
He'd stay in London for another six months before joining Manchester United in January 2014 for a then club-record fee of £37 million.
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One fan commented: "Imagine he still with us while playing along side Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and prime Eden Hazard."
Another said: "Nostalgia, man. Thanks for sharing. Gem of a player, Really wanted him to stay for more years."
While a third added: "Literally in my top 3 favourite ever Chelsea players. We should've never sold him man."
Despite Chelsea fans still adoring Mata, the man himself is upset at how it ended.
He told current club United's official website per Chelsea Chronicle: "And then the worst [part of my career] was probably when I was at Chelsea.
"I was voted, for two years, Player of the Year, I was playing regularly and I was playing very good and enjoying my football and then the situation changed.
"I stopped playing as much, my confidence was not as high and that was a challenge in my career that I had to overcome, but I think that it's normal."
When asked if he missed Chelsea, the 32-year-old replied: "I am very grateful for my time at Chelsea.
"They were two-and-a-half years and they were personally very, very good for me in terms of my development as a player, in terms of my development as a person."
Featured Image Credit: CFCPys/Twitter
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