Former Manchester United star Phil Neville has heaped praise on Serbia international Nemanja Matic, who made the switch to Old Trafford last month. The 29-year-old has not required much time to integrate into the United setup, and his commanding performance in the 2-1 European Super Cup loss to Real Madrid has got Neville excited.
Matic won two Premier League titles during his three-year with rivals Chelsea, and the former Red Devil believes that the midfielder’s presence will get the best out of Paul Pogba. Neville also compared Pogba to former United signing Juan Sebastian Veron suggesting that he was all over the place chasing the ball rather performing the duties assigned to him.
“Every time we watched Pogba last season it was, ‘Where do you play him?’ Now there is no excuse,” he told Sky Sports News h/t The Express. “He has somebody in there that will fill the holes when he vacates them, he has licence to go wherever he wants and he [Matic] will provide that stability for the back four. “Of all the signings United have made, Matic is the best one.
“Last season [Pogba] reminded me at times of when United signed Juan Sebastian Veron. He was a brilliant midfield player, one of the best in the world, but he kept chasing the ball and vacating areas. That is difficult to play with and Pogba was like that last year.”
Matic managed to make himself the central figure during the Blues’ Premier League triumph under Mourinho back in the 2014/15 season, and the Serbian will no doubt relish the chance to command the United midfield. In addition to his physique and passing capabilities, Matic also has a positional sense, and this will help to open things up further forward for Pogba and the United attack as a whole.
Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign with a home outing against West Ham United on Sunday where the likes of Matic, Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku are set to make their home debuts.