Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Manchester United Midfielder Is On AS Roma’s Radar: Should Ole Sanction His Departure?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Gazzetta dello Sport has mentioned that Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is on AS Roma’s radar this summer. It is understood that the new Roma boss Jose Mourinho is eager to bring the Red Devils midfield ace to Italy during this summer transfer period (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Matic’s Influential Role At Old Trafford This Season

Matic has once again proven himself to be a solid squad player at Old Trafford as he has done well to fill in as a defensive midfielder in place of Fred or Scott McTominay when needed. The Serbian talent has featured in 35 matches for Man United this term, picking up one assist and four yellow cards across all fronts.

The Sabac-born sensation deserves a lot of plaudits for averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 0.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League this season. The 32-year-old has even taken care of the ball when distributing possession from midfield, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 90.1% in all those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Matic’s current contract at the Theatre of Dreams runs out in the summer of 2023, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no urgent need to move him on at the end of this campaign. However, the promise of more playing time might be too appealing for the player to turn down in this off-season.

Manchester United's Matic is on AS Roma's radar (Matic is seen in the picture)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Giuseppe Fama/BPI/Shutterstock 11891000fx Lorenzo Pellegrini of Roma and Nemanja Matic of Manchester United, ManU Roma v Manchester United, UEFA Europa League Semi-final 2nd Leg, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – 06 May 2021 Roma v Manchester United, UEFA Europa League Semi-final 2nd Leg, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – 06 May 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xGiuseppexFama/BPI/Shutterstockx 11891000fx

Should The Red Devils Sanction Matic’s Departure This Summer?

Matic can still anchor the midfield well when asked to break down the opposition attacks at the centre of the park. He can sense the danger quickly and is proficient at timing his tackles well to earn the ball back for his team.

The 48-time Serbia international is not afraid to put his foot through the ball to make a clearance when required. Hence, he can still be a decent option for Solskjaer to call upon off the bench or start him when the Norwegian head coach is looking to rest some of his other first-team stars.

If Man United are planning to bring in a younger option for Matic, it makes sense for them to sanction the former Eredivisie star’s exit during this summer transfer window. At 32, the Red Devils player has still got a few good years left in him but it would be wise if Solskjaer decided to move him on in order to freshen up his squad at the end of this campaign.

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