It was a move most Chelsea fans did not want to happen and most Manchester United fans thought never would. And yet Juan Mata has now officially swapped blue for red, completing his £37.1million move to Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Spaniard has now taken to his official blog to bid farewell to everyone at Stamford Bridge, from the players and manager to the fans who supported him up to his very last moments in London.
“Thank you so much for the way you have treated me, you have been unbelievable,” he wrote.
He also thanked his teammates and managers past and present, along with all the day-to-day staff at the club he has served with such aplomb.
“Before last summer, my intention was to stay here for a long time,” he wrote. “However, as you all know, things changed after the pre-season.”
That they did, and the man who was Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the previous two seasons suddenly found his playing-time severely reduced.
He still gave his all when he played. But those occasions grew sparse as Jose Mourinho preferred the likes of Oscar. So now Mata finds himself at a club in desperate need of some sparkle, some creativity, some energy – all things the Spaniard has in abundance.
But in writing his open letter to Chelsea’s staff and their fans, Mata has shown that he is just as impressive a man as he is a player.
“Thank you so much,” he said signing off. And I am sure his fans old and new will be saying exactly the same – for what he did in London and what he is now hoping to do in Manchester.
image: © Wshjackson