Nemanja Matic’s new contract at Manchester United has been confirmed by the club.
He has signed a new deal until 2023, meaning he will be 34 when the deal expires.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke about Matic’s professionalism and hunger as reasons to extend the Serbian’s deal.
Solskjaer said: “I am delighted that Nemanja has signed a new contract, I know his experience, professionalism and leadership will be invaluable to this young talented group.
“We have great strength in midfield and Nemanja’s attributes are a key part of that. Nemanja has been here for three seasons now and really understands the values of playing for Manchester United.
“He remains hugely ambitious and determined which will be vital as we look to achieve our aims over the coming years.”
Matic appeared a little unsettled at the start of the season when he was left on the bench for United’s opening games.
He then started in the 1-0 win over Leicester City in September, before injuries saw him spend a couple of months on the sidelines.
Upon his return he really picked up form, and has gradually become more and more important to this United side.
He is buying into Solskjaer’s project, as his decision to renew his deal shows.
If Matic is ‘hugely ambitious’, then his choice to stay at United speaks volumes about his belief that this Red Devils team can reach the top once again.
Speaking in February about Solskjaer, Matic told Goal he was impressed. He said: “He is a much better manager than one year ago, in my opinion. Now he knows all of the players, he knows exactly what he needs to do before the game, after the game. For his job, the experience is very important.”
Matic is currently playing a vital role supporting attackers Bruno Fernanes and Paul Pogba, but as he has shown since the return, his own ability to influence attacks is important too.
His direct pass upfield led to Paul Pogba winning a penalty against Tottenham, before his key role in United’s counter-attacking role against Brighton with his volleyed pass into the path of Mason Greenwood, who set up Bruno Fernandes.
Matic provided an assist too against Bournemouth at the weekend and he is clearly enjoying his football right now.
Having experienced several low points during his United spell, Matic evidently believes now would be the wrong time to walk away, with the team on the cusp of challenging for trophies once again.
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