The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea did initially instigate wild rumours that it was going to coincide with the departure of Juan Mata, but everyone soon saw sense.
Mata, who was outstanding last season, is now believed to be in discussions over a new contract at Stamford Bridge, and Blues fans will hope that he can carry on his stellar form into a new campaign, with the Londoners currently the 11/5 favourites for Premier League glory.
Just how Mourinho will use Mata within his team is one of the great unknowns of the forthcoming season, but even with the competition around him the 25-year-old is sure to be playing a starring role.
Indeed, it is almost because of the battle for places in the Blues ranks that Mata can shine.
With Mourinho almost certain to base his attacking system around one central forward, Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba are all going to be competing for one place in the team, and that’s before you even consider the potential signing of Wayne Rooney.
All of which means that the odds of 2/1, 3/1 and 8/1 on Lukaku, Torres and Ba respectively ending the season as the Blues’ top Premier League goalscorer seem on the short side.
Instead, it could be the 10/1 Mata who follows on from last season’s 12 league goals – second only to Frank Lampard at the club – and tops Chelsea’s charts in the coming campaign.
Perhaps tellingly, Mourinho has recently been urging Mata’s teammate Eden Hazard to develop a more ruthless streak in front of goal and to “turn his great talent into great numbers.”
He can’t fail to have been impressed with Mata’s numbers last numbers, and those numbers can become even greater in 2013/14.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of the publication