Juan Mata is so important to Chelsea, admits Branislav Ivanovic

Branislav Ivanovic hails Juan Mata as one of the best players in the league, underlining the playmaker's importance to Chelsea

juan mata
Juan Mata signed for Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011

Branislav Ivanovic has hailed Juan Mata as one of the best players in the Premier League, underlining the playmaker’s importance to Chelsea.

Mata’s future in west London had been called into question following the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, after the 25-year-old was left out of the starting line-up for the Blues’ clashes against Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

But the Spain international, who was voted the club’s player of the year for the second successive season back in May, has since reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea and revealed his absence was due to his fitness levels.

And defender Ivanovic was full of praise for Mata ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Everton on Saturday.

“He is a player who was one of the best in the last two years,” Ivanovic said.

“He came back late from the summer but he’s had the time to work now. He’s a guy who is really important for us and for the team.

“It’s important for him to train hard, keep going and use every chance. I always said that, for me, Mata is one of the best-quality players in the league. He has a brilliant touch and he’s a brilliant guy.”

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