Like everybody else, I saw Juan Mata’s reaction to being substituted at St Mary’s yesterday - unfortunate as it was for the Spaniard, it’s difficult to disagree with Jose Mourinho’s decision given how impressive Chelsea were after that change.
Mata is an outstanding player, and - up until now - he’s been a model professional despite his demotion in squad-status. Beyond a certain point though, his frustrations - which are completely natural - are likely to become a detriment to the atmosphere at Chelsea. Mata seems to be fundamentally unsuited to the way Mourinho wants this side to play, and the Portuguese clearly doesn’t trust him to perform the defensive obligations that he requires of his forwards - at least not to the same level that Oscar and Willian do.
If that’s the case, is it not better to let him leave?
Mata is a valuable asset, and beyond the obvious issue of keeping a player with low morale, does it not make sense to cash him in against the weighty financial loss that Chelsea announced yesterday? Clearly he shouldn’t be sold to a Premier League rival, but if there are issues between him and the manager then his career is better continued elsewhere.