Manchester United have signed midfielder Nemanja Matic from Premier League rivals Chelsea on a three year deal.
The Serbian also reunites with former boss Jose Mourinho, becoming the 13th player to have played under the Portuguese at one more than club.
Having initially departed South London for regular first team football, Matic joined Benfica where he excelled in Portugal and began to forge the promising career many expected.
This led to his return to Stamford Bridge in January 2014, where Mourinho signed the holding midfielder during his second stint in charge of the Blues.
18 months later, the pair were Premier League winners, losing just three times as Chelsea won their fourth crown.
December 2015 saw Mourinho removed as head coach, as Matic’s form took a dramatic dip as Chelsea limped to a below par tenth placed finish.
Last season saw a much improved Matic start 30 of the 38 league fixtures that saw Antonio Conte reclaim the title, where United’s new number 31 formed an encouraging partnership with N’Golo Kante.
Despite excelling, many called out the lack of mobility of Matic as a reason to back Conte’s decision to seemingly let him go and subsequently overlooked for their pre-season tour of China last month.
His lack of match fitness may be an issue as a consequence, but regular training sessions during his state of limbo should see Matic settle in smoothly at his new club.
Long in search of a Michael Carrick replacement who turned 36 on Friday last, Matic’s arrival should allow Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera the freedom to utilise their energy and attacking prowess further forward.
The winning mentality will also be key as United return to the Champions League and aim to challenge for the Premier League for the first time since winning it in 2013.
His height and strength are also notable, as Mourinho has moulded a side whose spine would fit in well in a world of giants.
Capable of a wide range of passing, the left-footed 29-year-old brings something different to the side, and eases the burden on Carrick, whilst possessing the ability to shoot from range to great lengths.
A humble person but who is far from afraid of getting stuck in on the field, we welcome Matic and wish him all the best during his time at Old Trafford.