Following the arrival of 22-year-old midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from A.S. Monaco, it was highly anticipated that Nemanja Matic would be departing the Club. Today: July 31st – this speculation is now official. Matic has signed for Manchester United in the region of £40 million, signing a three-year contract with an option for an extra year. The 29-year-old Serbian international was linked with Juventus and Inter Milan before opting for a move to Manchester.
Matic re-signed for Chelsea in January 2014 and became integral figure throughout his three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge. During this time, he made 127 Premier League appearances, scoring four goals in the process. Matic excelled in his first start- a defensive master class away at Manchester City. He was victorious in his battle against Yaya Toure and was unfortunately denied by the woodwork.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 31, 2017
It was the 2014-15 where Nemanja exerted his authority and power aiding the team to rack up 26 wins on our way to the Premier League title – the first since 2010. Matic was an integral figure in the side and it was no coincidence that the team lost its first game of the season when he was absent against Newcastle. Matic scored his solitary goal of the season in a pulsating 6-3 victory away to Everton in August. Matic also scored the winner against Sporting Lisbon.
Matic, as well as the majority of the first team, came under some extremely deserved criticism during the ill-fated 2015-16 season. His performances were questionable and was humiliated in the home defeat against Southampton. Matic replaced Ramires at half time when the score was 1-1 but was subbed off 25 minutes later when Chelsea was staring down the barrel of defeat. Despite the below-par nature of performances, for Matic, personally, he managed two goals – both in vain against Everton and Sunderland.
2014-15 was Nemanja’s most successful season but he restored his integral nature to the first team in the most recent season. Matic was at his best when Antonio (Conte) reverted to the seemingly obscure 3-4-3 formation where he was constant with the revelation which was N’Golo Kante, signed from Leicester City. Matic was a stabiliser in transforming the poor start to the season into a remarkable season for the club. Matic’s most memorable contribution was a long-range strike against Tottenham which secured a 4-2 win and a place in the FA Cup final. The Serb’s contribution was underrated as the team secured 93 points, the second-highest total in the Premier League, not mentioning the historic feat 30 victories.
Nemanja was not known for his goal scoring prowess but was known for his stabilising presence in the heart of the starting eleven. Whilst fans may question the transfer as it strengthens Manchester United but he departs with best wishes and many memorable moments.