It’s done. Nemanja Matic has returned to Chelsea after two-and-a-half years in Portugal with Benfica. A €25 million transfer fee and a five-and-a-half year deal later, and the Blues have add some much needed steel to their midfield.
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 15, 2014
Matic will don the No. 21 jersey, the same one worn by the now-loaned Marko Marin, and there are rumors that he will get playing time against Manchester United this weekend, the club he spurned for Chelsea.
This is the first signing of Jose Mourinho‘s second spell with the club, and the outspoken manager was quick to praise the player, stating:
“I am very pleased that Nemanja is returning to Chelsea. He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder. I am sure he will become a very important member of the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.”
Matic was quick to return the admiration in an interview with the club:
“It’s exciting to work with him, he is the best coach in the world and I want to work with him for a long time. I am ready.”
The Serbian battler, unfortunately, will be cup-tied for the Champions League this campaign and will be featured solely in English competitions. The silver lining is that he will be fresh for Premier League and FA Cup runs, two pieces of silverware Chelsea will be determined to win after being dumped out of the Capital One Cup.
Nemanja Matic could be the signing that propels Chelsea over Manchester City and Arsenal to the top of the table. He has become a well-rounded midfielder in Portugal, and if he can fit in early he will be a huge success at Stamford Bridge.
Now all eyes are on the home game against Manchester United this coming Sunday to see if the marquee signing features against the struggling Red Devils. Maybe he will even chip in with a goal.