Chelsea in danger of having another Juan Mata situation following rumours £29m man is on the move – TCC View

History tells that us that moving between Manchester United and Chelsea is generally a poor career call.

Just ask Sebastian Veron or Radamel Falcao, the South Americans who struggled to properly showcase their skills at either Premier League outfit.

Some have managed to get away with success after switching allegiances from Manchester to London, or vice versa.

Mark Hughes won numerous trophies with United during the 90s and then added a few more to the cabinet whilst playing for Chelsea toward the end of the decade.

1997: Mark Hughes of Chelsea shouts to his team mates during a match. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

Nemanja Matic was a double league title champion during his days at Stamford Bridge, before becoming a stable part of the Old Trafford furniture from 2017 onwards.

But, perhaps the prime example of a player completely falling by the wayside after crossing the blue and red divide is Juan Mata.

There’s only Juan

The Spaniard earned cult hero status at Chelsea, following his transfer from Valencia in 2011.

His debut season alone was memorable for so many reasons.

He contributed 32 goals (20 assists, 12 goals) across all competitions, many of which propelled Roberto di Matteo’s men to FA Cup glory.

Mata also played a pivotal part in the Champions League victory that campaign, providing the corner for Didier Drogba’s late equaliser.

Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images

For all his hard work, the attacking midfielder was named the club’s Player of the Year.

Somehow, Mata stepped up another level in his second spell.

32 goal involvements increased to 55 (36 assists, 19 goals), earning him successive Player of the Year awards.

Plus, he clinched the Players’ Player of the Year honour and a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Add to that a Europa League winners’ medal and the now 33-year-old could do very little wrong in a Chelsea shirt.

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sadly, his one, fatal mistake was to join Manchester United in 2014.

Admittedly, Mata had fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho, so the change seemed excusable.

In hindsight, it’s probably the most ill-advised decision the technical wizard has ever made.

Don’t make the same Mata mishap

Half a decade on from that transfer to the capital, the former Spain international hasn’t produced anything like the form witnessed for Chelsea.

Since the start of 2020/21, he’s mustered just 21 appearances for the Red Devils in total.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Once a quite magical creator turned magician’s assistant.

This fate may well be waiting for Antonio Rudiger if he follows in the same footsteps as Mata.

According to Christian Falk of Sport Bild, Ralf Rangnick’s employers are interested in signing the £29m (BBC) defender, as they look to pounce on his perilous contract situation.

Like Mata, Rudiger is a huge favourite amongst the fans.

Not only for the centre-back’s quality but for his passion and commitment to the course.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

There is no way of knowing if a move to Manchester would see a downgrade in fortunes for the German.

But, as we said before, history is simply not on his side.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.