4 Reasons why Manchester United need Nemanja Matic back from injury immediately
When Nemanja Matic joined Manchester United from Chelsea, everyone knew United were getting the benefit of the deal. The Serbian wasted no time in making his presence felt at Old Trafford and immediately attained cult status among fans.
His timid nature and quietness were restricted to the sidelines alone, on the field, he was an experienced warrior who turned out to be one of the signings of the summer.
Unfortunately for him, United did not win any trophies in his first season, something that did not justify the value of a signing worth its weight in gold.
If there were any critics of Matic last season, they would be answered over the summer. Nemanja Matic returned from the World Cup carrying an injury that required emergency surgery, ruling him out of preseason and the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Any questions of his value to Manchester United was settled by their lackluster display in his absence. United was poor in the preseason, and even though they won the first game of the new Premier League season against Leicester, their vulnerabilities were exposed at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton tore them apart, highlighting the lack of steel in the middle of the park and sending United fans all over the world into depression. However, more than anything else, the loss exposed why United needed their unsung hero from last season back as soon as possible.
Nemanja Matic has resumed training, but the game against Brighton had arrived too soon for him. As such, here are four reasons why Manchester United will be hoping that their Serbian will be ready in time to face Tottenham Hotspurs on Monday night.
Matic has played 159 Premier League games so far. Compare that with the current United midfield. Fred has just joined the Premier League and Pereira is a novice. Paul Pogba has played 62 games.
The main problem in the United midfield has been the lack of experience. With the retirement of Carrick, the United midfield has been deprived of Premier League know-how and it is up to the Serbian now to pull this midfield together.
Matic has consistently played over 30 games in each Premier League season since 2014/15. He has been involved massively in four Premier League seasons, winning two Premier League titles.
Sadly, United don't have such a wealth of experience in their ranks anymore. He is not a proven goalscorer from midfield, although he does have five goals and 17 assists in the Premier League in total, along with 115 shots, with 30 of them on target.
He is more sound defensively, and it is what United desperately need right now.
With Fred providing the fluidity and Pogba the panache in the midfield, it will be up to Matic to provide some conventional wisdom to complement and complete the United midfield. He will know when to press and when to withdraw, he will know when to hold on to the ball and when to unleash the wings.
Matic with his experience will be the one that makes the United team tick.