Arsenal Transfer News: Why Juan Mata Would Transform Arsene Wenger's Side

Joe Strange@joe_strangeContributor IAugust 29, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  Juan Mata of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on August 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The race to sign Chelsea's Juan Mata is well and truly on.

Despite Jose Mourinho's insistence that the Spanish playmaker won't be sold, rumours linking the former Valencia star with a move away from Stamford Bridge refuse to die down.

The latest club interested in his services are Arsenal. And if Arsene Wenger somehow pulls off a move for the diminutive attacker, it could well turn out to be the best piece of business done by any club this summer.

Following news that Tottenham were interested in bringing Mata to White Hart Lane after missing out on Brazilian Willian to Chelsea, it has now emerged that the Gunners are also monitoring his situation.

After Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League playoff win over Fenerbahce, Wenger told John Drayton of the Daily Mail:

I watched the [Chelsea] game last night that Juan Mata could be on the market. I don’t know, there is a reluctance in England to sell to each other.

Does that frustrate me? Yes, I like him.

The Frenchman's quotes will not come as a surprise. After all, the North Londoners reportedly attempted to sign the attacking midfielder before Chelsea in August 2011.

John Cross of the Daily Mirror also added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday night when he tweeted: 'Wenger far more coy when asked whether Mata's father, who is also his agent, was a guest of Arsenal in directors' box. Very intriguing...'

With Mata's father supposedly at the Emirates, Willian joining Chelsea and now Porto winger Christian Atsu reportedly in talks over a move to West London, the prospect of the former Real Madrid youngster moving before Monday's transfer deadline doesn't seem quite so farfetched. 

Mata, who is Chelsea's reigning Player of the Season, would be a remarkable coup for Arsenal and Wenger.

The Spaniard has been instrumental in Chelsea's success since joining the club two years ago, helping his side lift their first Champions League trophy in 2012 and then following it up with victory in the Europa League final in May of this year.

With his wand of a left foot, Mata hit the back of the net 12 times and made 12 assists in the league last season, playing a part in almost a third of the Blues' 75 top-flight goals.

Comfortable playing wide on either side or in a No. 10 role behind a striker, his versatility also makes him an attractive option for any manager wanting to significantly strengthen his side.

If the Arsenal board can put together a package to tempt their London rivals into selling, Mata's ability on the ball, eye for killer passes and expert delivery would fit perfectly into Wenger's style of play.

Alongside Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and fellow Spaniards Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta, Mata has the quality to form part of arguably the league's most creative midfield.

His signing would also be a huge show of intent by a club who have struggled to keep pace with their rivals when it comes to spending big on new players.

And, with Arsenal's struggles to sign a new star striker continuing, Mata's eye for goal could be the difference between challenging for a place in the top four and challenging for the top spot.

Wenger has been hesitant in the market so far this summer, but with a player of Mata's ability seemingly obtainable, he must act fast to avoid missing out on one of the world's most talented players.