Juan Mata is one of the English top flight’s most successful La Liga imports, and over the past two seasons has been a saving grace for Chelsea amid their rather painful transition period.
But it all could have been very different if the Gunners had got their act together back in summer 2011.
The Spanish attacking midfielder was set on a move to Arsenal, and even turned down local rivals Tottenham, but the club couldn’t get the cash together in time before his £18million minimum release clause expired, and were then faced with the decision whether or not to pay Valencia’s asking price of £26million.
Of course, Arsene Wenger being the thrifty man that he is, declined and he instead moved to the blue part of London.
The Gunners signed Santi Cazorla a year later – not a bad alternative to say the least.