Nemanja Matic is now officially a Manchester United player. As much as it must have hurt for Chelsea fans, life in the Premier League goes on. The million pound question now is how does Conte replace him?
Jose Mourinho has underlined the urgency of a defensive midfielder much earlier and now he has gotten his man finally. Mourinho knows the pros and cons of the 28-year-old having managed him at Chelsea and is expected to use him pretty heavily next season.
A fee in the range of £40m needs to be paid for the services of the player who will turn 29 this Tuesday. Paul Pogba was brought to unlock the midfield struggle but the Frenchman had to undergo a difficult period, as he had to share the defensive responsibilities alongside Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera.
Matic’s arrival will let both Pogba and Herrera perform their usual duties pretty swiftly, which has been Jose Mourinho’s main concern since last season. Matic was a crucial part of Chelsea’s title winning campaign as his partnership with N’Golo Kante proved to be enough for the Blues to conquer the Premier League, winning their second title in the last three years.
Antonio Conte made it clear he will consider releasing Matic but only after they sign a replacement. Chelsea brought in Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco and it cleared the path for Matic to switch his allegiance to the Red of Manchester. Bakayoko had an outstanding season with Monaco the last term. Their long quest of winning the Ligue 1 finally got fulfilled as they eclipsed Paris Saint Germain on their way to the French league title.
The attacking contingent of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Radamel Falcao and Bernardo Silva hogged all the limelight with their stupendous attacking antics but had it not been the tenacious display of Bakayoko it wouldn’t have been easy for them. The French midfielder acted like a shield in front of the backline which allowed the players to bomb forward.
Matic is a brilliant passer of the ball and his passing accuracy is a bit better than that of Bakayoko last season. His break up play is undoubtedly one of the best in the business and although the last campaign was surely not his best, he still managed to rack up eight assists under his belt which shows his all round abilities.
Bakayoko is more mobile than Matic and loves to cover a large portion of the ground. In Kante, Chelsea have one of the most hard-working midfielders in the world and the addition of Bakayoko will open a new dimension for the club. So Matic, may not be such a huge loss for the Blues this summer.