By Dave Marshall
Jose Mourinho has earned plaudits for the quality of players he has been able to lure to the Fortress of Old Trafford this summer. While Romelu Lukaku is the biggest buy for the Red Devils this summer, the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea has been adjudged “the steal of a secret weapon”.
Despite leading the assist chart in the first half of the 2016/2017 Premier League season, Matic became out of favour at Chelsea and his exit was sanctioned by Antonio Conte, who left him out of Chelsea’s pre-season tour in the far East. Typical with the eagle-eyed Mourinho, he brokered a £40m deal with Chelsea and landed the Serbian.
Matic appears to have bedded into the team of Man United and French midfielder Paul Pogba has made bare his mind regarding the Red Devils latest signing, with claims that the 28-year-old tough-tackling midfielder allows him to express himself on the pitch, according to reports.
It will be recalled that Jose Mourinho re-signed Matic for Chelsea for £22million in the January 2014 in his second spell at Stamford Bridge and the Serbian was pivotal to Chelsea’s conquest of the League twice in the last three campaigns. The pair have now re-united at United.
Matic stole the show for the Red Devils in their sizzling start to the 2017/18 Premier League campaign as we thumped West Ham 4- 0, a game in which Pogba found the back of the net once. Pogba reckons that the presence of Matic gives him the freedom to attack more.
“Against West Ham, Matic was starting behind and I could worry more about attacking. I feel good playing that way, but it depends on what the manager wants,” he was quoted as saying to reporters.
“I’m always confident. I always give my best and I know more about the Premier League and I’ve adapted more with the team.
“When you know the team more, you know how to play alongside them. You get on better. You just get a different feeling.
“You could see against West Ham, everybody was getting along well and playing for each other.”
Matic has slotted into the first team of Man United and he is already forging a strong midfield partnership with Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba. Despite Marouane Fellaini’s knack for scoring goals and playing in various position, he’d be the one to sit out games mostly.
In Matic, Herrera and Pogba may have gotten the best midfield ally and it is hoped that the trio will prove their mettle this season.