Nemanja Matic was one of Manchester United’s worst performers during Jose Mourinho’s final few months at the helm.
Along with Romelu Lukaku, the Serbian’s presence in the starting XI was criticised after a string of poor showings. To such an extent that, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge, Matic was tipped by many to be deservedly dropped.
Instead, the £40million midfielder (BBC) has rediscovered his best form and is now integral to this United team.
It would have been easy for Solskjaer to drop the worst offenders in the club’s malaise. Instead he has kept faith in Matic and quickly been rewarded.
The 30-year-old has played all but three minutes of United’s league campaign since the new boss arrived.
In that time he has quietly and efficiently gone about his job. In so doing, he has allowed United’s attack-minded players to excel.
Matic was signed by Mourinho to do the dirty work. The issue was, the longer United’s struggles went on, the more the midfielder faltered.
Not anymore though, with the 46-capped international performing brilliantly week in, week out.
Lukaku has been dropped, and rightly so, but Matic is now the player Mourinho thought he was signing in the first place.