Attack-minded Juan Mata is on same page as Chelsea manager Villas-Boas

Spaniard was persuaded to move to Stamford Bridge by the attacking philosophy of the Chelsea manager.
Juan Mata is the third Spaniard to join Chelsea, following the arrival of Fernando Torres and Oriol Romeu.
Juan Mata is the third Spaniard to join Chelsea, following the arrival of Fernando Torres and Oriol Romeu.

LONDON // New signing Juan Mata says the attacking philosophy of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas helped persuade him to move to Stamford Bridge.

The 23 year old ended months of speculation linking him with a move away from Valencia by penning a five-year deal with the west Londoners yesterday.

Mata has been linked with a host of elite European clubs this summer but insists there was no competition when Chelsea made their intentions clear.

"[Villas-Boas] said he wanted Chelsea this season to play more attacking football, and that I would be a big part of that," he told the club's official website.

"Villas-Boas is someone who won almost everything last year and we are both here with the idea of winning lots this season. The plan is that I can play on either flank or even in the middle playing in between the lines of midfield and attack.

"I like to keep the ball and use it well, I am an attacking player and above all I like to set up goals and score them also.

"I want to adapt as quickly as possible to my new surroundings, my colleagues and this league, and I would love to win a trophy in my first season. If it can be the Premier League then great."

Mata becomes Villas-Boas' fourth summer signing, following the arrivals of Oriol Romeu, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois.

Mata could make his debut in Saturday's clash with Norwich and moves to Stamford Bridge for a reported fee of £23.5 million (Dh141.3m).

"Right from the first moment there have been good feelings all around me," he said. "Training has been great and the players are a great group to train with.

"Valencia was a big club anyway but I have left to join a bigger club and it is all about the opportunity to win trophies and I have that here."

Mata becomes the third Spaniard at the Blues, linking up with Romeu and fellow Spain international Fernando Torres.

"Fernando got me excited about the thought of coming here," Mata said. "He said it would be good for me here and that me and him together could be good.

"I also talked to my family and friends about it as well."

The former Real Madrid winger's father, also named Juan Mata, played professionally for Burgos and Salamanca, leading the player to add: "This is obviously a big thing for me, to have a father who knows football.

"He has always given me good advice and I never had a problem because he was there to help.

"Despite there being football in my family, I always wanted to have skills other than football so I studied while I was in Madrid.

"It wasn't easy but I wanted to do it, and I learnt about marketing and sports science."

Published: August 25, 2011 04:00 AM


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