Juan Mata thanks Rafael Benítez and Roberto Di Matteo

Juan Mata pays tribute to Rafael Benítez and Roberto Di Matteo for helping him develop his game at Chelsea

juan mata
Juan Mata signed for Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011 Photo: The Sport Review

Juan Mata has paid tribute to Rafael Benítez and Roberto Di Matteo for helping him develop his game at Chelsea over the last two seasons.

The 25-year-old playmaker has been one of the Blues’ standout performers since joining the west Londoners from Valencia back in August 2011.

Mata has scored 32 goals in 118 appearances for Chelsea and the Spain international says that his return is largely thanks to being deployed in a more central role.

“I’m not a striker but obviously the more goals I can score the better for the team,” Mata told Chelsea’s website.

“Last season I changed my position slightly and I was playing in a more central role, so that’s better for me in terms of getting into the box and scoring goals.

“It was thanks to Rafa Benítez and Robbie Di Matteo because they changed things for me.

“I feel I’ve improved in terms of judging when to arrive in the box, as well as providing assists, so it’s important for me to score goals.”

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