Chelsea’s Juan Mata looks for positives despite being dropped

Juan Mata admits he is desperate to force his way back into Chelsea's starting line-up in the second half of the season

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
juan mata
Chelsea's Juan Mata Photo: The Sport Review

Juan Mata admits he is desperate to force his way back into Chelsea’s starting line-up in the second half of the season after being regularly overlooked by Jose Mourinho.

The 25-year-old has been restricted to just 10 Premier League starts this season under new boss Mourinho, despite having been voted the Blues’ player of the season in the last two campaigns.

Speculation has been mounting over the Spain international’s future due to his limited playing time this season, with Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs linked with a swoop for the midfielder.

I realise how privileged I am for doing what I like the most: playing football

Juan Mata

But as the new year approaches, Mata opted to look back at the last 12 months from a positive angle despite his limited appearances.

“During this year I’ve gone through some situations in my professional career that I’d never lived before, and thanks to them I keep feeling stronger and I believe in myself even more,” Mata wrote on his blog on grada360.com.

“Looking back and checking the statistics, I think I have played around 56 games through this calendar year. Frankly, it’s not bad.

“In every one of them I have tried to give all I had for my team or the national squad and to become a better footballer, which is the main goal in my career.

“Obviously you may win, lose or draw, but [I’m] always being positive. And I realise how privileged I am for doing what I like the most: playing football.

“So, despite in the last part of the year certain things haven’t been the way I wanted, 2013 has been, again, a good year. One of many so far.”

Mata however, who was again an unused substitute in the 2-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday, appeared to hint that he would seek a move away from Chelsea should he not manage to force his way into Mourinho’s first-team plans during the second half of the campaign.

“[Next year] from a professional perspective, I hope to play many games, even more than in 2013, because that is what really makes me happy,” said Mata.

“I hope to be lucky with injuries and, of course, I hope to enjoy myself on the pitch with victories and trophies.

“Playing the World Cup and winning it would make 2014 another unforgettable year in my life. This will be one of the most important moments in the next months.”

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