I’m not at Chelsea just to make goals for Torres, claims new boy Mata
Published 15/09/2011 | 16:35
JUAN Mata today insisted he was not bought solely to get Fernando Torres scoring but confirmed the misfiring striker did plead with him to join Chelsea this summer.
Torres reportedly bombarded Mata with text messages in a bid to convince him to move to Stamford Bridge, that perseverance paying off when the Blues raided Valencia for the £23million-rated winger last month.
Torres hailed the arrival of Spain team-mate Mata as crucial to his bid to shake off the dreadful run that has now seen him score just once in 30 games for club and country.
But Mata was adamant he was not just in the side to put the ball on a plate for Torres.
"My aim is to give as much as I can to the game," he said.
"There are a lot of big, talented players here. As well as Fernando Torres, there are at least 20 more.
"I'm just one more player willing to give as much as I can when the coach puts me out there on the field."
Mata did admit, however, that Torres was "a very important factor" in his decision to join Chelsea, who he chose over Arsenal and Tottenham.
"I did talk to him about this and he was the one who encouraged me to come," Mata said.
"He said this would be an excellent experience for me to play as part of a bigger team and a team which has excellent facilities, an excellent manager and excellent qualities overall."
Mata did manage to set Torres up for a glorious chance in what was their first start together, Tuesday night's Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen.
The striker fluffed his lines again but did manage to lay on both Chelsea's goals in a 2-0 win, including an unselfish pass for Mata to score for the second time in two home matches.
"He did an excellent job," Mata said.
"He did really well helping to set up two goals. He was excellent in the attack as well and I think he's contributing a great deal to Chelsea as their striker."