This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has turned out since being signed/sold and using statistical figures and statements from key figures to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Jose Mourinho didn’t mess about upon his return to Chelsea in 2013. After being unable to hit the ground running as he did in his first spell, the Portuguese played a blinder in the transfer market to make up for lost time – and could arguably have one transfer in particular to thank for it.
Showing no mercy, Mourinho sold Juan Mata to rivals (and future employers) Manchester United for £37.1m, despite the Spaniard being named as Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year in the season preceding his second coming.
Finishing third in the Premier League in his first season back at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho reacted by utilising the income from Mata’s transfer to fund new arrivals that would spur the Blues on to title glory in the following season.
Fabregas delivered 19 league assists during his first season in blue – including six in his first four outings – while Costa was an instant hit at Stamford Bridge as his 20 league goals helped Chelsea surge towards the title with an eight-point gap over nearest challengers Manchester City.
Matic, Fabregas and Costa all linked up again two years later to deliver another title to West London – though similar levels of success would go on to desert Mata in Manchester.
While Mata and Mourinho’s paths would cross again at Old Trafford, the Spaniard has been unable to achieve the heights of his Champions League triumph during his debut Blues campaign since his switch.
United’s latest defeat to West Ham prompted pundits to doubt the Red Devils’ chances of a top-six finish – displaying the stark contrasts of the paths Mata and Chelsea took once they had parted company.
Chelsea may be below Mata’s United at present, but it would be difficult to deny selling the Spaniard worked out well for Mourinho and his former colleagues.
Chelsea fans, do you miss Juan Mata? Would he get in the current squad? Let us know by commenting below!