Matic Strengthens United's Title Bid
Most at Manchester United must still be pinching themselves that Chelsea agreed to sell Nemanja Matic to the club.
Yes, every player has a price but a player of Matic's ability being transferred between Premier League title rivals is a surprising one with the midfielder potentially the missing piece of the Man United puzzle.
A player of his type has been missing for some time.
The decision of Chelsea to sell Matic to Man United has been branded as 'horrendous' by former United defender Phil Neville who feels the Red Devils would now be favoured ahead of the Premier League champions to win the title this season.
He told the Debate, via Sky Sports: 'I can't think of a reason why Chelsea would sell him. If Nathaniel Chalobah or Ruben Loftus-Cheek were still there they could get rid of Matic and play a younger kid. You would applaud that but those players aren't even at the club now. They have weakened their own team and strengthened Manchester United, who now have a better chance of winning the Premier League than Chelsea.'
Adding: 'United were crying out for a central midfielder with the qualities of Nemanja Matic. He is probably the best in England alongside N'Golo Kante. Chelsea have broken up that partnership and strengthened their rivals. All of a sudden United are in the driving seat ahead of Chelsea to win the Premier League.'
Neville went on to say he felt the sale of Matic, as good as it is for Man United, could cost Chelsea the league.
Another plus from the arrival of Matic is the fact Neville believes he can help Paul Pogba reach that next level, achieving the heights on a consistent basis that led to United signing the Frenchman for a world record transfer fee last summer.
Neville said: 'Every time we watched Pogba last season it was, 'Where do you play him?' Now there is no excuse. He has somebody in there that will fill the holes when he vacates them, he has licence to go wherever he wants and he [Matic] will provide that stability for the back four. Of all the signings United have made, Matic is the best one. Pogba teased us last year. In some games it was, 'Wow', and in others it was 'Dear me'. This year is his year.'
Likening Pogba to former Man United midfielder, a teammate of Neville's at Old Trafford, Juan Sebastian Veron, the ex-England international is convinced Matic can help the Frenchman, along with Ander Herrera, get better.
Concluding: 'Last season he reminded me at times of when United signed Juan Sebastian Veron. He was a brilliant midfield player, one of the best in the world, but he kept chasing the ball and vacating areas. That is difficult to play with and Pogba was like that last year. Pogba scored nine goals last season, I think he can get 15. It amazes me, why would you sell Matic to Manchester United? You are not only improving United in defensive midfield, you are making Pogba better, [Ander] Herrera better. It is a horrendous sale.'