Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan Juan Mata? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can Juan Mata? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can Juan Mata?

Sitting in the Matthew Harding stand at Stamford Bridge last weekend something was blindingly obvious – Chelsea desperately need a creative midfield player.

Far to often they stalely played the ball about between them, with players flooding forward, but no penetrating ball was ever produced. Fernando Torres’ sharp runs were nullified by play like this all evening.

The normally reliable Frank Lampard looked devoid of ideas, Ramires seemed to go missing when the game kicked off and Salomon Kalou was hauled off after just 35 minutes to be replaced by the less-than-inspiring Florent Malouda.

So it is just as well that The Blues have snapped up 23-year-old Juan Mata from Valencia CF. The vibrant and intelligent player is just what they need in midfield to spice things up a bit.

The Spaniard has reportedly cost the London side £26 million; merely lose change for Roman Abramovich. He is naturally an attacking midfielder who is happy to play through the middle or out on the wing.

He started his career at Real Madrid, working his way through their youth academy, before moving to Valencia in 2007. During his time there he scored 33 goals and played alongside fellow countrymen David Villa and David Silva.

An educated player, Mata already speaks English so he should find it easy to settle into his new home in West-London. Standing at only 5ft 7in he doesn’t really fit the mould of the regular gargantuan Chelsea player, but maybe that is what they need; someone who breaks the mould.

With fellow London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham apparently interested in signing the youngster Chelsea will be chuffed that they managed to get him onto their books.

Full of pace and flair he is the exciting footballer Chelsea fans have been craving to see at the club since the departure of players like Arjen Robben and Damien Duff. He has the ability to finish with finesse as well as play in other players with intricate passing.

Mata prides himself on movement, vision and technique, three essential qualities for an attacking midfielder. He won’t be fazed about coming into a big side either having already played with world-class players at Valencia and having represented Spain at every level from U16 to the full first-team.

He was also part of the U21 Spain squad that dominated this years UEFA Under-21 European Championships. This all works in his favour as Andre Villas-Boas could be tempted to play him in place of any number of midfielders that didn’t do the business last weekend.

Mata isn’t an out-and-out goal scorer, although he does score his fair share for a midfielder, he is more of a playmaker. Last season he was second only to Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil for open play assists, something Fernando Torres will hope to benefit from.

There is no reason why Mata can’t fit in straight away to the Chelsea set up. He is exactly what they are looking for, an explosive and dynamic player who will create chances for the rest of the team. As long as Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka or Torres can benefit from his arrival he will be worth every penny of his transfer fee.

James Haggis

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