Nemanja Matic was destined to unceremoniously depart Old Trafford after his inconsistent performances. The Serbia international had struggled for game time during the first half of the season. His inconsistent performances on the pitch did not inspire the manager to assure him game time.
Devil’s Own Luck
Matic had started just two Premier League matches in 2019-20. He notched up just 350 minutes of first-team football. The season before he’d played in 41 games and totaled upwards of 3,000 minutes. With the renewed performances of Fred this season, along with the consistent growth in quality from Scott McTominay. Matić looked to have fallen to fifth in the midfield pecking order.
McTominay suffered an injury on Boxing Day which kept him out for two months. Forcing Solskjaer to bring the Serbian into the team. In the period without Premier League time; he’d managed a few Europa League games and racked up some League Cup appearances. Following his coverage of the void left by Scott McTominay, Matić was rewarded with a one-year contract extension that will keep him at Old Trafford until at least next summer.
Defensively this season, Nemanja Matić’s performances rank him as one of the top performers in the United squad for a number Premier League KPIs per 90 minutes, including interceptions (0.4), tackles (1.8), and blocks (0.4).
Matic also brings experience that is likely to prove vital for United as they continue their transition under Solskjaer. He provides a maturity to the United dressing room. Matic is averaging 20 more passes per game than he was in his appearances before Christmas, with 87 per cent finding their intended target. His number of average touches has also increased while his recoveries per game have risen from 5 to 7.