Chelsea to loan Juan Mata? The pros and cons

Rumblings in the press are stating that the west Londoners may well although the Spaniard to leave on a temporary deal in January.

It has been a remarkable fall from grace for Juan Mata this term, with the Spanish playmaker going from integral player to fringe figure since Jose Mourinho took over at the Chelsea helm.

The former Valencia attacking midfielder has found himself behind Oscar as the Blues boss’ first-choice number ten, and as such has only started five games this season for the west London side.

As such, reports in the press are suggesting that Chelsea may well be willing to allow Mata to go on loan in the January transfer window – a good move?

Firstly, the player will obviously be frustrated with his lack of opportunities to play, and having someone of Mata’s considerable qualities on the bench is a real waste of talent.

With the World Cup just over six months away, the playmaker will be keen to be given the chance to shine at club level, whether at Stamford Bridge or somewhere else, to force his way into Vicente Del Bosque’s squad for the tournament.

Given the fact that Mata is not playing regularly at the moment, it could be wise for Chelsea to allow him to go – as a purple patch elsewhere could see the midfielder reinvigorated and come back to the club in the summer a more confident player.

However, should Oscar become unavailable or injured, Mata could well be called into action. Despite the presence of other top attacking midfielders, there is certainly an argument to suggest that the Spaniard is the next in line to replace the Brazilian.

In terms of loan moves, it is very rare that a senior player leaves on loan and returns to the parent club’s first-team fold. Generally a loan for an experienced player, like Mata, is the first step to a permanent transfer elsewhere.

Sending a younger player out on loan can improve him through the chance to play regular first-team football, but Chelsea already know what Mata is capable of. He is already top-class and cannot get much better.

With this in mind, if Mourinho is willing to allow Mata to leave in the January window, maybe it should be for good. This way the club can sign a replacement instead of waiting for the Spaniard to come back to the same situation he already finds himself in.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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