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Manchester United officially confirmed the signing of Nemanja Matic on Monday afternoon. The midfielder joins United from Chelsea in a deal initially worth £35m but poised to rise to £40m with bonuses.
Jose Mourinho was quite pleased with securing the services of the big Serbian- having previously worked with him at Stamford Bridge- but what impressed the gaffer the most was Nemanja’s unrelenting desire to push for the move to the North West.
In fact, his ardor to reunite with Mourinho may have played an intricate role in lowering Chelsea’s asking price of £50m; initially meant to disparage United into withdrawing their interest.
Signing a 29-year old for £40m may seem inflated by all standards, but his inculcation into Jose Mourinho’s plans may very well solve Manchester United’s midfield woes.
Solid defensive line
Nemanja Matic offers an impenetrable reassurance in the middle of the park, something Manchester United could use.
His qualities in defensive midfield could help shield a back four that was largely depleted with injuries and far from imperious when at full strength last season.
United supporters will be drooling with delight at the prospect of having a midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera.
Free up Pogba
Most telling about his signing however is Mourinho’s endeavor to bring out the best in Paul Pogba.
Much was made of the world record transfer fee of £89m paid to Juventus for the 24-year old; equally much made of how the midfielder didn’t live up to the billing.
The French international has thus far shown sparks of brilliance but Jose Mourinho has brought in Matic to serve the sole responsibility of freeing up Pogba.
With reduced defensive responsibilities, Pogba will have the freedom to commit in the final third which will almost certainly play to United’s advantage.
Proven in the Premier League
Team spirit is a nebulous recipe for success and as such, the introduction of Matic into the squad with a friendly match to spare presents ample time to gel with his new teammates, ahead of the UEFA Super Cup Final against Real Madrid on 8 August.
Above all else however, his proven status in the Premier League justifies Mourinho’s insistence in signing him, as the Serbian will guarantee instant results which translate to instant success compared to a young, budding talent unfamiliar with the rigors of the English game.
Nemanja Matic can cut off a frustrating figure for opposing teams in midfield, but the Serbian remains an unsung hero for his attacking qualities.
His passing and measured attacking approach helped him register seven assists in the Premier League last season; more than any other Manchester United player.
Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial led the count for United with six assists apiece but having Romelu Lukaku upfront makes Matic an invaluable addition to the squad.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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