Jose Mourinho’s search for a defensive midfielder is now over with Nemanja Matic completing his much anticipated move to Old Trafford
United have completed the £40m signing of defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, with the player joining on a three-year deal.
Eric Dier (a known United fan) was reportedly JM’s preferred target, but with Spurs remaining adamant their player would not be sold, the attention turned to the 28 year old.
Despite appearing to have a strained relationship while at the Bridge, Matic was so keen to link up with his former manager that he was left behind while Chelsea toured stateside.
The Serbian DM becomes United’s third summer acquisition following the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Victor Lindelof from Benefica.
In Matic, JM will be reunited with a key player in his last title-winning side – in a season where the midfielder was named in the PFA Team of the Season.
Following his unveiling, Matic revealed his delight to be joining United at an “exciting time” under the special one.
United’s need for a DM was evident all through pre-season, despite the good results recorded. That now seems to have been resolved with the Serbian’s acquisition.
Matic is an imposing DM who has great technique and passing which don’t appear obvious despite posting an impressive 88% average passing accuracy last season.
While the Serbian is not a known goal scorer, he created a respectable 27 chances (per Squawka) – providing a creditable 7 assists as the blues clinched the title.
With Matic protecting the back four, other creative influences like Pogba and Herrera (depending on how JM sets up) will be given the freedom to influence the attack.
JM previously utilized Fellaini in combating aerial balls, but with Matic (a specialist DM) the Belgian’s relevance is greatly reduced – opening the possibility of a move to Galatasaray.
With a section of United’s following expressing a clear preference for – another reported target – Monaco’s Fabinho on social media, JM will be hoping he got the right man.
United fans should get a first view of their new 6’4 midfielder against Sampdoria on Wednesday. If that comes to early, then Real Madrid a week on Tuesday should be a certainty.
The Serbian will wear the no. 31 shirt previously worn by Bastian Schweinsteiger.