Lukaku all over again? - Mata switch a Mourinho masterclass or mistake?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Chelsea selling Juan Mata to Manchester United is unfair

Juan Mata is set to complete a transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United for a fee in the region of £40 million and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the deal is unfair.

As Chelsea have already played United twice in the league this season they won't have to face Juan Mata, and Wenger thinks that the deal lacks fairness because of this. Arsene was surprised Chelsea were selling Mata in the first place but said:

"Chelsea have already played twice against Man United, they could have sold him last week. I think if you want to respect the fairness for everybody, this should not happen. I can understand completely what Chelsea are doing, and they do not make the rules, but maybe the rules should be a bit more adapted for fairness."

Chelsea obviously don't see Manchester United as rivals for the title anymore this season and therefore selling Mata onto them won't allow him to come back and haunt them. Well for this season at least, but with Mata set to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal there's plenty of time for it to happen. Perhaps Wenger is forgetting the fact that Mata will eventually play against his former club and have the chance to damage future title hopes.

Jose Mourinho allowing Mata to leave is similar to when he sent Romelu Lukaku on loan to Everton. He decided he wouldn't be a key first team member and therefore sent him to a fellow Premier League team. Lukaku has scored plenty of goals against Chelsea's title rivals causing them to drop points in the process.

Mata could have a similar effect with United still to play Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton. Mourinho will be happy to see Mata incur some damage to those team's aspirations.

When it comes to Chelsea facing Manchester United next season though, will Mourinho regret the transfer? Juan Mata will have something to prove having never been given a sustained run in the side by Jose. He is certainly the type of player Moyes needed, and can go on to have a huge impact for them this season as well as still benefiting Chelsea.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch