Why the time is right for Manchester United to offload Nemanja Matic
Manchester United couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Premier League campaign and there were some surprise inclusions in their first-team but what must have come as an even bigger surprise were the exclusions.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones did not even make it into the matchday squads but just as surprising was the exclusion of Nemanja Matic from the first-team, who had to watch from the bench.
Matic is one of the few senior players in a very young United side. United actually fielded the youngest side of any in the Premier League in the opening weekend and that looks like a sign of things to come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and for the foreseeable future.
United have always been a club with the likes of Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona that believes in giving youth a chance and Matic will be in odds with that.
It’s not just that though, Matic was woeful in pre-season and he’s now been linked with being moved out as he’s a player on the decline.
Matic only has a year left on his contract and he doesn’t necessarily have the values that have usually been associated with Manchester United as he’s a very safe player.
Matic was a Jose Mourinho signing, who has always preferred getting players who are already the finished article without looking into the long-term ambitions of the club and it’s time that Manchester United moved on from that and it’ll take time to reinforce those areas of the squad.
Matic has been very cumbersome while in possession and doesn’t cover up ground anyway but even less so now because he’s much older now. Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba seem to have formed a partnership in a double-pivot.
While they did not enjoy a very good first-half in that game against Chelsea. They did grow into the game and were outstanding in the second half with a little change in tactics. McTominay started many of the counter-attacks and Pogba was unplayable at times.
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United seem to be a more direct team that’s trying to hit teams in transition and Matic is too safe in his passing, which slows down certain moves and would not work well in a system that depends on counter-attacks. It’s best they moved him on.