It seems United have suddenly become favourites to land an out-of-favour Chelsea player. According to a report from The Sun, Nemanja Matic is keen to sign for Manchester United this summer. This move would reunite him with his former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho.
On the surface, Matic sounds like a good addition to the side. It is not a secret that The Red Devils need some depth in midfield, and the potential arrival of Matic would certainly improve that. The Serbian midfielder can fill a number of roles in the middle of the pitch, and he is a hard-working player just like the ones Mourinho loves.
If we dig a bit deeper and analyse the team’s current situation, however, the arrival of Matic looks even better.
Team’s Depth in Midfield
If we look at Manchester United’s squad right now, Mourinho only has Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, and Michael Carrick as players capable of playing as central midfielders. But Carrick only has one year left in his deal, and Pogba has been playing in a more attacking role. So finding reinforcements should be one of the team’s priorities in the upcoming transfer market.
United also have Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Daley Blind and Phil Jones as players capable of handling the CM position. But neither is even close to Matic in terms of talent on that role. So the Serbian would definitively be an upgrade in the current squad.
What Would He Add To The Side?
First of all, Matic would bring a combative presence to United’s midfield. The 28-year-old midfielder stands at 1.94 meters, so he would become a physical presence in the middle of the pitch. Pair him up next to Marouane Fellaini, and United would instantly became quite a force in the air.
Another thing we can’t overlook is Matic’s experience in the English Premier League. Even though United are fine on that aspect, adding players who know their way around the league is always a plus. And Matic has been a constant presence in Chelsea’s lineup since the 2013-14 season.
For what is worth, Matic registered one goal and eight assists in 35 Premier League appearances last season. So he wouldn’t be leaving Chelsea due to a lack of playing time. It would be because he is keen on playing for Mourinho again, and that is quite an advantage.
Could He Start Right Away?
I would say yes. Ander Herrera is not going anywhere, but Matic represents an upgrade over both Fellaini and Carrick. Plus, Matic and Herrera could complement each other perfectly. While the Serbian would play on a more defensive role, Ander would have the chance to focus on his play-making ability instead of being forced to adopt a more defensive stance.
Rumours are exactly that: rumours. And until we don’t see Matic at Old Trafford playing with United’s shirt, we have to treat this with a grain of salt. But there is no question Matic is a proven player in the Premier League. And if we consider United could use a bit more depth in midfield, then the potential arrival of the Serbian star looks like a perfect fit – at least on paper.
And if the chance arises, Manchester United should take it. Matic would undoubtedly boost the side on both ends of the pitch.