MATA WAS IN SHOCK

The Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has said that he was left in an extreme shock following the announcement of Didier Drogba leaving the club at the end of last season. The Chelsea striker decided to leave Stamford Bridge after each successful years at the club during which time he was almost irreplaceable by the club. The 34-year-old striker left the club on a free transfer to the Chinese league to play for Shanghai Shenuha. Now, the Spanish midfielder Mata has come out in praise of the former Chelsea man by saying that he was a huge inspiration and leader within the team.

He has also said that Chelsea were accustomed to play in a certain way due to the presence of Didier Drogba in the side, while it is extremely difficult to replicate the same with Torres. The Ivory Coast international is extremely adept at playing at both sides of the game – holding the ball or facing the goal. However, Torres is not so good when it comes to holding the ball up and linking other players and to play. Mata, though, has said that he feels that Torres is one of the best strikers in the world and will certainly come good. The arrival of Benitez is expected to improve the form of the Spaniard.

“Drogba’s departure was like an electric shock for us. He was a warrior. We’ve had to learn to cope without him because for many long years he was Chelsea’s lightning conductor. With Drogba we were conditioned to play in a certain way. His runs aren’t the same. He’s not a funnel for our play like Drogba could be. He doesn’t like the holding-it-up role. He prefers finding space and facing the goal,” said Mata. Drogba scored more than 150 goals for the club during his eight years.