Juan Mata: Fernando Torres convinced me to join Chelsea
Spanish winger says Torres was a "very important factor" in his move to Stamford Bridge this summer
Chelsea new boy Juan Mata has revealed that Fernando Torres urged him to sign for the Blues this summer.
The 23-year-old winger has already scored twice for his new club – his latest strike coming in the Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen after being set up by Torres.
And Mata, who joined the Londoners from Valencia in August for £23.5m, says the former Liverpool striker’s enthusiasm for him to sign for the Blues was a “very important factor” in his move.
“I did talk to him [Torres] about this and he was the one who encouraged me to come,” said Mata.
“He said this would be an excellent experience for me to play as part of a bigger team and a team which has excellent facilities, an excellent manager and excellent qualities overall.”
Torres has found the net just once since his £50m move to Stamford Bridge, but Mata believes the Spain striker is still playing an important role in the team.
He said: “I think he did an excellent job [against Bayer Leverkusen]. He did really well helping to set up two goals. He was excellent in the attack as well and I think he’s contributing a great deal to Chelsea as their striker.”
Mata, who has made three Chelsea appearances already, is convinced that playing in the Premier League will help him to develop his game.
He continued: “The English league is different and I feel this is an opportunity for me to grow and learn more as a footballer, in a new style of the game.
“It’s much more competitive, there’s a lot more speed involved and I think I’ve learned a lot in the first two games that I’ve already played.”
The Spain winger was also full of praise for Chelsea manager AndrÃ© Villas-Boas and believes the Portuguese coach’s attack-minded philosophy will be successful at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s very important for me to have confidence in his ideas,” he said. “We have talked about the different styles [of football] that could be used.
“He’s very much in favour of an offensive, very dynamic style of playing football and I think he showed this at Porto, where he won a number of titles last season.”