Chelsea’s £20 million giant has settled in well at Stamford Bridge, but has revealed the opposition player he feels gave him the toughest match.
Chelsea’s January transfer window signing Nemanja Matic has settled in well at Stamford Bridge upon moving back to the west London club for a second stint.
The Serbian colossus was originally a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz from SL Benfica to Chelsea, but proved so influential in the Portuguese giants’ team that the Blues elected to sign him for a second time, investing £20 million into the move.
Matic’s size and ability to position himself to counter threats makes him a formidable obstacle to get past, and he has helped solidify the Chelsea team to allow the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Andre Schurrle to break forward more regularly and concentrate on creating and scoring goals.
Given his huge physical presence, Matic can struggle to track nippy attacking midfielders, particularly those with clever lateral movement drifting into the channels.
He revealed the most difficult player he has ever played against to be Napoli star Marek Hamsik, whose ghosting runs can see him crop up anywhere in the final third.
“I’ve played against a lot of good players,” said Matic.
“I like the way that Marek Hamsik from Napoli plays, he was very difficult to control in the midfield area.
“I think I also have to say Messi. That’s obvious.”