Nemanja Matic signed a new contract in the summer and it looked like a smart decision from Manchester United.

So it has been disappointing to see the way his form has trailed off this season.

The warning signs were there back against Spurs in the 6-1 defeat. He was hooked at half-time with United 4-1 down. The defensive protection he is usually so good at giving to the backline no longer looked impenetrate.

This may have given Solskjaer reason to doubt him too, because Matic has struggled to get a regular run of games.

While this is no doubt a factor behind his flimsy form, he is not doing much with the chances he does get.


Sheffield United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

He looked off the pace in Leipzig and it was an error to start him (a predictable one).

It was less of a risk to start him against Sheffield United, and Solskjaer was able to leave Bramall Lane with three points.

Question marks over Matic remain however.

While United were dominant for spells, Paul Pogba was a far bigger influence on the midfield battle than Matic was.

From a defensive standpoint, Matic failed to win a single tackle, or make a single interception.

By contrast Pogba made one tackle and two interceptions, and Bruno Fernandes two tackles and one interception.

Pogba made three defensive clearances too, while Matic did not make any.

Sheffield United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

A position which needs upgrading

Matic plays in a position which United need to address, sooner rather than later.

His new contract was a sticking plaster solution, while United sought to address other positions in the summer.

A report from the MEN this week said the defensive midfield position is one United will be targeting over the next two transfer windows, with it most likely to be solved in the summer.

Matic needs to improve though, because United miss him at his best. If he can find a way to recapture the form he showed between January and July, then it will be a big boost to the club’s ambitions this season.

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