• Premier League

Mourinho: No problems with Juan Mata

ESPN staff
September 13, 2013
Juan Mata has won the Player of the Season award in successive seasons since joining Chelsea © PA Photos

Jose Mourinho maintains he has no issue with Juan Mata, despite the player featuring little in the first month of the new regime at Chelsea.

During the pre-match press conference ahead of his side's trip to Everton on Saturday, Mourinho insisted Mata is still very much a part of his plans and is a player he has always admired.

However, Mourinho was also keen to point out his intentions to utilise the Chelsea squad to its maximum potential, revealing players such as Mata may not always be included in the starting line-up.

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"Where is he [Mata]? He is in the same plans as all the others," Mourinho said. "He is a player I like very much, that's why he's here. He is a player I trust a lot and will fight for position like everybody else.

"Sometimes he will start, sometimes on the bench and sometimes he may not be selected because the squad is so competitive.

"With a match every three days, I will make 'strange' decisions to your eyes but because I think further than the next match and I want to have him at his maximum level. I want the players only to think about the next match but I have to look beyond that."

Since joining Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011, Mata has won successive Player of the Season awards at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mourinho also said he is looking to the long-term with Romelu Lukaku, who has been loaned to Everton.

"It was not so hard [to loan him out] because it was something he was very keen to do," Mourinho said. "The kid wants to play every weekend.

"I don't know if Roberto [Martinez] promised him that but he's more keen on that than competing with other big players every week. He's a great kid and that's why I don't want to sell him and didn't when we had proposals to do it.

"We believe he's a player for many years here but he was first to open the door. When the player is happy to go and we got Samuel, it was a good way to resolve the situation. We kept three experienced players for a position that demands a lot in the Premier League but let him go, and go happy."

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