JUAN MATA DEAL COMPLETED
Juan Mata completed his transfer from Valencia today, and will be available for Saturday's game against Norwich having already trained with the squad at Cobham.
The left-winger, who can also operate centrally, signed a five-year contract and spoke exclusively with the official Chelsea website following his first training session. He becomes our fourth signing of the summer following Oriol Romeu and Romelu Lukaku's arrivals, as well as the capture of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who has joined Atletico Madrid on loan.
'Right from the first moment there have been good feelings all around me,' Mata 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.'
After four years at the Mestalla, in which he scored 43 times in 179 appearances, Mata spoke with Andre Villas-Boas and was convinced Stamford Bridge was the place for him despite interest from other clubs.
'He said he wanted Chelsea this season to play more attacking football, and that I would be a big part of that,' the player explained. '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 the third Spaniard to join Chelsea in 2011, following international team-mate and fellow World Cup-winner Fernando Torres and Romeu, who arrived from Barcelona earlier this month.
The newest recruit, who has 12 full international caps, also captained their Under 21s to glory in this summer's European Championship, admitted he had spoken to Torres prior to the move.
'Fernando got me excited about the thought of coming here,' Mata revealed. '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.'
Among those advisors was his father, also named Juan Mata, who played professionally in Spain for Burgos, where the younger was born, and Salamanca.
'This is obviously a big thing for me, to have a father who knows football, and he has always given me good advice and I never had a problem because he was there to help,' said the Real Madrid-trained man.
'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 learned about marketing and sports science. Away from football I like normal things for someone of my age, the cinema, music, theatre and reading. I am looking forward to living in London and adapting to a new cosmopolitan city and getting to know that.'
For the duration of the interview, Mata has been speaking in his native language, but listening and absorbing the questions put to him in English. To finish, he is asked when he expects to feel comfortable sharing the language of those around him, and the answer is a pleasant surprise.
'I hope as soon as possible!' he says, typically, in perfect English. It is an impressive start for the Spaniard off the pitch, now he will be wanting to catch the eye on it.