Nemanja Matic the Difference Against Arsenal


When Chelsea FC brought back their former player Nemanja Matic at a considerably higher price than the one they sold him for, they were widely ridiculed by pundits and fans of other clubs. The usual accusations about Chelsea simply outbidding everyone else on the market and new jokes about wasting their money on a player they used to own were bandied about. Those more in the know about the game of football and what Matic offered knew that the Serbian’s arrival to Stamford Bridge could be the best signing of the transfer window.

Manager Jose Mourinho on what Nemanja Matic brings to the table:

"“He has added stability, not losing the ball but, at the same time, he is not the type of player who plays only square passes. He can see the movement forward and the space. He recovers the ball but in a very clean way, not with fouls in dangerous positions, and he is still a young guy. We’d given the club two or three options on players [in January] and the most expensive was Matic but we thought his relationship between quality and price, and his potential for the future, would be better for us.”"

Matic has brought a steel and power that Chelsea is used to seeing in midfield from the likes of John Obi Mikel and even Ramires to an extent. As Mourinho pointed out, what Matic brings that other defensive midfielders do not is his aggressive and incisive passes. His passing was on full display against Arsenal as his simple ball to Andre Schurrle, after winning the ball with a great tackle, set up the second goal of the match to give Chelsea a commanding lead. It was also Matic that played a clever ball over the top of Arsenal’s defense to the speedy Mohamed Salah to give the Egyptian a golden opportunity to knock in his debut goal.

While he was not the big name striker signing that many Chelsea fans were hoping for in January, Nemanja Matic could prove to be the difference in the title race. It is a shame that he is cup tied this season but his presence in the midfield at Stamford Bridge for years to come will make him a fan favorite and an integral player for years to come.

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