31. Nemanja Matic – Season Review

Key Stats:

Name: Nemanja Matic
 
Date of Birth (Age): 1st August 1988 (32)
 
Signed: 31st July 2017
Total Appearances: 121
Appearances this season: 34
Goals: 1
Assists: 3
Contract till: 30th June 2023
 
Analysis:
 
Nemanja Matic was perhaps one of the surprises of last season. The 32-year-old midfielder’s Manchester United career looked to be coming to an end at a point due to a series of average displays. He never looked effective in his role which resulted in Scott McTominay taking his place in the starting eleven. With McTominay and Fred pulling the strings in the midfield, Matic never looked like he would be anything more than a benchwarmer. However, his revival began when Solsjkaer started playing him due to an injury that happened to Scott McTominay.
Matic took his chance to perfection and made the most of it by putting in some good displays which impressed the manager. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January also helped his course as he was tasked with the role of a pure defensive midfielder without too many responsibilities going forward. He was pivotal during Manchester United’s 19-game unbeaten run which saw the Red Devils finish 3rd in the Premier League campaign and thus qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The Serbian’s upturn in form saw him cement his place in the starting eleven ahead of Scott McTominay and Fred. He has been impressive when called upon and hardly put a foot wrong in any of the matches. His experience and brilliant defensive abilities certainly made United’s midfield trio including him, Pogba, and Fernandes one of the best in the league. His importance to this team was documented in the form of a new three-year deal which he signed in early July.

Season Rating: 7.5

Ambitions For Next Season:

Matic remains well in the plans of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for next season. The lack of defensive midfield reinforcements this summer indicates that the Norwegian is set to trust Matic for the upcoming campaign. Although there were shouts for buying a younger and more mobile holding midfielder, there has been no activity in that area of the pitch. The new three-year deal offered to him was a clear indication that he was the chosen one to execute the ‘dirty works’ on the field for Man United next season. United instead prioritised strengthening other areas of the pitch by keeping their faith in the big Serb.

With the arrival of Donny van de Beek from Ajax, the competition in the United midfield is about to heat up. However, since Matic is the only natural holding midfielder in the Manchester United squad, he will see plenty of game time next season. It’s about time that Matic continues his good run of form from last season and repay the manager and the club for the faith they’ve put in him. At 32, Matic might be in the last few good years of his career, but the Serb looks more than ready to do a job for United next season.

Author: TUD Author