Manchester United are close to completing the signing of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic for a fee in the region of £40million
The Chelsea man was re-signed by Jose Mourinho in January 2014. He helped guide the Blues to the league title in the 2014/15 and 2016/17 campaigns whilst playing a key role for Chelsea, but can he recreate that impact at Old Trafford?
Having joined Chelsea originally from Kosice in 2009, the tall enforcer was used in the deal that involved David Luiz moving to Stamford Bridge for his first spell in 2011; players cannot resist returning to London, can they?
There were eyebrows raised when they forked out £21 million to sign him again in 2014 (nothing compared to Paul Pogba now) but he has since made that fee look like a bargain.
Matic has an EFL League Cup and two Premier League winners’ medals to show since his spirited return to England in 2014.
Not only was he just part of the team that won these trophies but he was integral in the success. He helped the side by allowing players such as Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian the freedom to do their creative magic further up the pitch.
However, this is not to say that the Serb is not creative because with 16 assists from his deep position he can certainly pick a lock.
So allowing creative players to play with more freedom is a key facet of his play, would this help anyone at Manchester United?
How about the most expensive footballer in the world? That man Paul Pogba is quite creative! He had a mixed return season to Old Trafford, but he showed enough glimpses of his quality whilst playing alongside Michael Carrick for us to know he’s the real deal.
Matic has the aura of Carrick around him which would help Pogba to unleash his full potential.
At only 28, Matic is seen as a replacement for Carrick; who will be 36 at the start of next season. He doesn’t have the Englishman’s sensational range of passing, but his ability to start off attacks from deep and dictate the tempo of games is similar to Carrick’s.
When Matic is on the ball time seems to slow down whilst he assures his teammates he is in control of the situation. Throw that in with the technical ability of Pogba and the raw eagerness of Herrera, you have a pretty good mixture in my opinion.
He is also seen as an upgrade to £27.5 million signing Marouane Fellaini whose time at Old Trafford seems to up.
With Matic’s 6ft 4 stature, he will inject some much-needed power in United and given he is more gifted with the ball at his feet than the Belgian; Fellaini could be plying his trade away from Manchester next season.
The signing makes complete sense for the Reds who are in need of a squad capable of competing in all four competitions (five if you include the UEFA Super Cup) and with the addition of Victor Lindelof they are making all the right steps.