Juan was their best player! Benitez on Chelsea’s decision to sell Mata
Rafael Benítez remains coy when asked to analyse Chelsea's decision to sell their "best player" Juan Mata in January
Rafael Benitez has appeared to question Jose Mourinho’s decision to sell Chelsea’s “best player in the last two years” after Juan Mata joined Manchester United in January.
The 25-year-old Spain international was out-of-favour for most for the season under Benitez’s successor Mourinho despite scoring 32 goals in two seasons at Stamford Bridge.
Juan was their best player in the last two years
Mata has already made a mark at United after making three assists in four top-flight appearances following a club-record £37.1m move to Old Trafford from the west London side.
When asked about Mourinho’s decision to sell Mata, Benitez replied: “I am not here to talk about Chelsea.
“But Juan was their best player in the last two years. That is it. You can see that, but I am not here to analyse what they did.”
Benitez also paid credit to the Swansea City side that knocked Chelsea out of the League Cup en route to winning the competition last season, with Eden Hazard memorably sent off for kicking a Swans ballboy.
“He kicked the ball, not the boy,” Benitez said.
“It was special circumstances because we had lost the first game, we had to score three and we had key players out injured.
“But, in the end, Swansea did well and credit to them – and that has to be a message for us. I have already told them how we lost with a side like Chelsea, so we have to be aware of this team and the level of quality they have.”