Juan Mata went from Europe’s highest assist maker to Man United benchwarmer

We want the old Juan Mata back.

The Premier League 2012/13 season was a strange point in time.

Joe Hart won the Golden Glove, Man United drew 5-5 with West Brom and Wigan qualified for the Europa League. Must we continue?


SIGN UP – WIN £10k BY PLAYING DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER THIS WEEKEND


You’re more than welcome for the new phone background

PA:Press Association

You’re more than welcome for the new phone background

One additional detail you’ve perhaps forgotten about that particular season is that Mata went on an absolute madness™.

The Chelsea man, who was entering his second season at Stamford Bridge, topped his stats from what was an impressive debut season by an outrageous amount.

Today he’s a shadow of his former self…

Feel like pure sh*t, just want the old Mata back

EPA

Feel like pure sh*t, just want the old Mata back

READ MORE OF THE BEST FANTASY FOOTBALL TIPS FROM OUR EXPERTS:


Back in good old 2012/13, Mata was well on his way to becoming one of Europe’s best playmakers.

The diminutive Spaniard was carrying what was at the time an underwhelming Chelsea side.

Yes, they might have forked out for Eden Hazard in the summer, but the Blues were fronted by a questionable duo of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.

Mata took it upon himself to guide Chelsea through what was a period of transition. The club had just dismissed Roberto Di Matteo in favour of Rafa Benitez.

Father and son

Getty Images – Getty

Father and son

Scoring 19 goals and chipping in with 34 assists in all competitions, the former Valencia man was playing out of his skin.

11 of his goals came in the good old Barclays, with 17 assists also coming on these shores.

Mata’s performances earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Season, as well as a spot on the shortlist for Player of the Year.

His boots match the kit. Hold me, Daddy

AFP

His boots match the kit. Hold me, Daddy

He was unlucky to miss out on the top award, with Spurs’ Gareth Bale snapping it up instead.

The Welshman won it rather fraudulently, if you ask me.

Is it too late for a recount?

Look at that smug face. He even knows it should have been Mata

Look at that smug face. He even knows it should have been Mata

The unbelievable form of the No10 helped the Blues to lift the Europa League at the end of the campaign.

Mata was effectively the reason that Chelsea fans ended up warming to Benitez, a man who they had treated so harshly upon his arrival.

It’s a well known fact that he’s the nicest man in football.

Give this man more trophies ASAP

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Give this man more trophies ASAP

It’s no coincidence that the Spaniard’s demise has come as Jose Mourinho proceeds to go off-the-boil once again.

Mata can’t seem to secure himself a regular spot in the side at United. It’s about time he moved elsewhere.

The 30-year-old is approaching a stage where he needs opportunities to play before it’s too late. Opportunities that he will seldom get at Old Trafford.

I’m not sure why the guy in the background is laughing. This is serious stuff

PA:Press Association

I’m not sure why the guy in the background is laughing. This is serious stuff

His international career has suffered too. Just when it had looked as though he was to be the future of the Spanish national team, he’s now not featured since 2016.

Mata’s quality is undoubted and his antics in 2012/13 are all the proof you need that there’s a top player waiting to reemerge.

Give us back the old Mata, please.


Play the easiest fantasy football game around this weekend…

Want to show off your fantasy football credentials every weekend? Then Dream Team Weekender is just for you – and it’s absolutely free to play.

Simply pick seven players with no budget limitations from the Saturday and Sunday fixtures to be in with a chance of winning a whopping ÂŁ10k this weekend.

And the best thing about it? If you don’t win, you’ve only got to wait until the following weekend for another shot at the prize money.

Sound like a bit of you? Sign up to play Dream Team Weekender here and join the fun.


SIGN UP – WIN £10k BY PLAYING DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER THIS WEEKEND


WATCH: Love Of The Game: Leyton Orient (Episode 1)

[embedded content]

Source: https://www.dreamteamfc.com/c/news-gossip/422510/juan-mata-chelsea-man-united-2012-2013/

« »