Bryan Robson: Nemanja Matic can make Manchester United title challengers

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes that Nemanja Matic’s arrival could turn Jose Mourinho’s side into title challengers this season.

The Serbian completed a £40m move to Old Trafford from Chelsea earlier this month, much to Antonio Conte’s frustration, and has already demonstrated why he has won two titles in three years in England.

His performance against West Ham United on Sunday, alongside Paul Pogba, was hallmarked by a sense of physical stature and sheer presence on the ball that supporters haven’t seen for some time.

And Robson, speaking earlier this week, has noted that the 29-year-old could make a vital difference this season.

“It is one of those where you don’t get carried away by the one performance,” he said.

“But you look at the squad depth and we have got power and pace as well as the quality.

“Two of the signings have been terrific again to go with the signings we had last tear. Lukaku and Matic. Matic was terrific at the weekend.

“Everyone has said who is going to replace Michael Carrick. It’s great we still have Michael at the club. But to have signed Matic was a masterstroke for me.

“The signings there at the weekend were brilliant. He’s going to be a great player for Manchester United over the next few years and that gives us a real chance.”

Matic hasn’t won two Premier League titles for no reason. He is not just an excellent player capable of thriving at this level; he was born to play in this division.

At 6ft 4, blessed with incredible technical ability, he is something of an anomaly: somebody capable of barging people to one side and skilfully manipulating the ball, always with an eye for moving forward.

We shouldn’t get too carried away, of course, but there aren’t many players out there better geared towards succeeding at this level.

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