Manchester United paid Chelsea £40 million to reunite Nemanja Matic and Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford ahead of the new Premier League season.
Matic became Mourinho’s third signing of the summer, the 29-year-old midfielder following Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
The Serbian was a key part of Mourinho’s title-winning team at Chelsea in 2015, where he played as the anchor in midfield, allowing the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Oscar to be more adventurous.
So, is this how Mourinho will deploy Matic in his new-look United team for the upcoming Premier League season?
Speaking to the club’s in-house television channel MUTV, Matic said: “In the defensive midfield position, the player needs to give balance to the team and try to control the game. That’s exactly what I try to do.”
And that is the very reason Mourinho so desperately wanted Matic at Old Trafford for this coming season, willing to pay £40 million for him. For Matic allows freedom for others.
One of the main beneficiaries of Matic’s presence will be Paul Pogba. The £90 million man had a good season at United during the last campaign, but he failed to deliver the spectacular that his price tag demanded.
Part of the reason for that was his many responsibilities. Pogba was meant to be the most creative player on the pitch for Mourinho, driving forward, while also having to protect the defense from his midfield position; he had adopted the box-to-box position.
He played much of the season alongside Ander Herrera or Marouane Fellaini. Herrera thrived under Mourinho but he doesn’t have the imposing presence of Matic, the six-foot-four-inch man capable of breaking up counter attacks, while also possessing the ability to launch one.
In Matic, Pogba will have the license to link up with his friend and new teammate Lukaku, along with United’s various attacking options, all the while knowing, behind him, both he and United are protected.
Source: Tom Roddy| Newsweek