Nemanja Matic is set to leave Chelsea for the rival Manchester United this season, in a deal worth £40 million. The defensive midfielder from Serbia, known for his consistent and combative style of play, was ManU coach Jose Mourinho’s choice in his attempt to beef up the midfield, and is the star signing of the season for the Manchester United. Mourinho has always functioned well with a balanced midfield where the defenders set up a base and feed the ball regularly to the midfield and strikers, and Matic will be expected to perform that job seamlessly as he has for EPL champions Chelsea for the last two seasons.
Matic has worked with Mourinho when he was managing Chelsea two years ago, in fact, it was Mourinho who brought in the player from Benefica. After an unsuccessful year at Manchester United, it would seem that Mourinho has called upon his trusted midfielder again for a title push. Matic’s departure at Chelsea follows those of John Terry, Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah. Also, striker Diego Costa is expected to exit the club after coach Antonio Conte told the player that he did not figure in the club plans for this season. The number of changes in the Chelsea squad that won last season’s league title has drawn some ire from former players and fans.
Chelsea has brought in Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko, but Bakayoko is currently out injured along with key attacking pair Eden Hazard and Pedro. After Matic’s departure, the defence looks a little light for the champions heading into the coming season. Conte had Alex Sandro and Virgil van Dijk on his list of players to be acquired for the season, but the deals for the two players have floundered in the recent weeks.