Chelsea's Juan Mata in danger of being overlooked for Player of the Season

Gareth Bale's recent form has seen him join Van Persie and Suarez as a top contender for the award, but is Chelsea's Juan Mata the man who really deserves it?

There have been many victims of Gareth Bale's stunning form, with West Ham the latest on Monday night and Arsenal on the checklist for this weekend.

But one high-profile name could be Juan Mata if he is snubbed from the PFA's top three for the Player of the Year Award, with voting set to take place imminently.

Expected to feature are Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie, along with Bale who has struck 11 goals in his last 10 games.

Bale has an astounding 19 goals and nine assists this season. It really is Player of the Year form, but what if there is somebody better?

Juan Mata might just be that man. The Spaniard, in only his second season in English football has been sensational, and superbly consistent too.

His season didn't get underway until September as he was given extended rest following his participation at the Olympics, and it paid off - When he set up two goals to inspire Chelsea to a 2-1 win away to Arsenal.

Mata has scored two less goals than Bale, netting 17, but in European competition, his three Champions League strikes outweigh Bale's two.

Where he has really come into his own is as a goal creator; Mata has a staggering 23 assists in all competitions for Chelsea.

These are broken down as 12 in the Premier League, three Champions League, four League Cup, three FA Cup and one Club World Cup.

One might imagine quite how those figures might increase had Chelsea had a striker firing on all cylinders this season, rather than the unpredictable Fernando Torres.

If Mata wins the award, he certainly will deserve it, he has scored goals in big games against Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle, proving he steps up when it counts too.

Should Bale win it, he will deserve to win it too, but if Mata is not in the top two or three then it really will be a crying shame if he is overlooked.

Check out the highlights of Mata's season in this video:

Does Mata deserve to win Player of the Year?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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