Transfer of players between top clubs in English Premier League is not as frequent as that of the sides in Italian Serie A. You often see a top performer from Juventus move to AC Milan or Inter or AS Roma and vice versa.
However, Premier League is not like that and that’s why there was shock and awe when Manchester United signed Nemanja Matic so easily from their direct rival. The Serbian midfielder was signed from Chelsea to add steel and liberate Paul Pogba to show his mettle in a more advanced role.
Matic wasted no little time in adjusting to life at Old Trafford, so much so that this signing left many teams perplexed on how and why Chelsea let one of their top performers leave the club for a direct rival.
Even Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is in the same category as he admitted that he was ‘very disappointed’ that the Red Devils signed Matic this summer.
The former Liverpool captain was speaking to BT Sport when he said (quoted by Metro):
“He was one of the toughest opponents I played against. He is very leggy, he’s good in the air, he competes, he always gets a toe in.
“I couldn’t believe it. I think out of all the Manchester United players I’ve seen them sign over the last couple of years, he’s the one I thought “Oh no, I hope not” so very disappointed about that as a Liverpool fan.”
Matic helped the Blues win two titles in three years and was one of the key players when Jose won the title in his second stint at the Stamford Bridge. However, the 29-year-old was considered to be surplus to requirements following the arrival of Antonio Conte.
That doesn’t explain their logic of selling to United because it not just weakened them but also strengthened United. As a Liverpool fan, that is catastrophic because signing Matic was a clear masterstroke from our eternal rivals.
The Serbian has already made a significant impression at the club and has become a key player in Mourinho’s midfield this season. Not just shielding the back four, Matic was instrumental in liberating Pogba too. The French playmaker was beginning to show his true worth before injury cut his season short.
There is no doubt that Pogba would continue to have the same effect when he returns, and that would be because of Matic. In modern football, we rarely see self-less players who don’t mind doing things under the radar but Matic is certainly one among them.
Sad to say all this as a Liverpool fan because United look stronger with the Serbian. If ever there is one player I would like to poach away from this Red Devils’ side, it would be Matic!
Do you agree with me?