Nemanja Matic ended the 2019/20 Premier League season as a key player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
It certainly felt as though United were at risk of overplaying the Serbian towards the end, but there was no doubting Matic’s importance to the team.
What came next was a little surprising, considering his teammates played prominent roles, but in the long-run, it may benefit United.
Matic did not start a single game in the Europa League knockout tournament, only coming off the bench midway through the second half against Copenhaged.
It had been expected that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would bring him back in for the semi-final, but he went with Fred instead, who looked fresher.
Now Matic has had rest he needed
After starting in eight of Unied’s final nine Premier League games to end the season, something had to give.
The fixtures were condensed into six weeks of action, and Matic was not able to have a rest between games, as United had been utilising him at the start of 2020.
Matic did well to maintain his high standards of performance during this time, but his rest in August was needed.
Now he has had an extra period of rest over the past few weeks, having also sat out the break after retiring from international football.
Ready to go
Matic should be in the starting line up for Manchester United at home to Crystal Palace this weekend. He is refreshed and ready to go.
United can then name a changed midfield to face Luton Town in the EFL Cup the following week, before Matic could return to face Brighton a week later.
If United are going to be successful early on, Matic will be key, especially in big matches against Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal in October.
Matic’s experience and quality in shielding the defence will be important if United are to get off to a fast start.
Having given Matic the rest he needed, United can now reap the reward.
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