Despite Mourinho's praise of Mata, the Portuguese coach has suggested that the midfielder should not expect to secure a regular first-team place anytime soon.
"Juan Mata gives you great creativity going forward but he is a tremendous retainer of the ball as well and they didn't have that [against Basel]," Wilkins told talkSPORT.
"I thought we would have seen Juan Mata play in the second half, but it wasn't the case. They have got so many creative players in that area that it is obviously a personal preference of Jose's to use the other guys."
Mata was named the club's player of the year last season.