Rafael Benitez admits Juan Mata has been a revelation for Chelsea
Rafael Benitez has hailed the impact Juan Mata has had on the club this season. The interim Chelsea manager admits Juan Mata has been an inspiration at Stamford Bridge in testing times for the London club.
Juan Mata scored a brilliant goal in Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday, a defeat that has left the Blues just a point away from fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and four points away from fifth-placed Everton.
The Spanish playmaker has been singled out by many players from team, all of whom are hugely impressed by the consistently amazing form. Juan Mata without a doubt has been the crucial to Chelsea’s success this season.
The 24-year-old winger has scored 16 goals and 23 assists in 39 games for Chelsea. The Spain international has already surpassed his statistics from last year even though Chelsea have been kicked out from the Champions League.
Juan Mata joined Chelsea from Valencia in the summer transfer window of 2011. Chelsea had to pay £23.5 million in transfer fees to Valencia in order to acquire Juan Mata’s services. In his debut season at Chelsea, Juan Mata scored 12 goals and 20 assists.
Since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo last year, Juan Mata has become the key to Chelsea’s success in Rafael Benitez’s squad. This might not be a good sign for Chelsea because this means they are overly dependent on the Spaniard, yet Rafael Benitez is happy to find successful results through him.
Rafael Benitez is also content with the performance of goalkeeper Petr Cech. The former Liverpool manager’s successful usage of David Luiz has also been a big accomplishment.
“It’s not just Juan but also Petr Cech and hopefully David Luiz in the future. They are key players for us,” Rafael Benitez said prior to the Newcastle United game.
“Juan is, if you see the stats, doing really well so it’s important to have players that are in good form are fit.
“If we see another one doing well I’ll be really pleased because then you are not depending on one player.”
Juan Mata, who was benched in the 2-2 draw against Brenford and was withdrawn when Chelsea were two goals up against Reading, has saved Chelsea from a ton of embarrassing results this season.
“I can see the connection with Mata playing against Brentford as he was very influential in attack,” Rafael Benitez confessed.
“I can’t see the difference with Mata with the last ball in the last minute because he will not win in the air for sure.”