Over the summer, Manchester United have made three terrific signings. However, for me, the latest of the trio will prove to be the most important. That man is, of course, Nemanja Matic who signed his Red Devils contract less than a week ago.
Shortly after putting pen to paper, the 29-year-old has already played his first game in United colours. He took to the field and played the first-half of the match against Sampdoria on Wednesday evening, and he looked great.
After the game, manager Jose Mourinho was speaking to the media about the man he has now signed twice as a coach, and he had nothing but praise for the Serbian midfield enforcer.
“The player can be professional and work hard but football is collective and when you train alone you train just a part of what you are as a player.” Jose Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“So he needs time, but [he has] experience, [is] intelligent, a genius the way he thinks. He thinks football.”
The fact that he has labelled him a genius tells you all you need to know. Positionally, he’s superb, and on the ball Matic is a supremely quick thinker and more often than not he will pick the right pass.
This is a man who’ll sit just in front of the back four and offer them that extra bit of protection, whilst actually enjoying doing the dirty work. It’s an underrated bit of business, and I’m so surprised that Chelsea let him leave; particularly to a direct title rival of theirs.